Flu Fighter: Eric Stein

Eric Stein

Name: Eric Stein

Title: Marketing, Communications, and Programs Specialist at Families Fighting Flu

Location: Falls Church, Virginia

Meet Eric Stein, an employee and founding family member of Families Fighting Flu  (FFF), a national nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting children, families, and communities against flu. Eric is a strong advocate for fighting flu because in 2004 he and his older sister, Jessica, got sick with flu. Tragically, Jessica did not recover and died at 4 years old after the virus attacked her heart. Eric says he will always wonder what great things his older sister would have accomplished were she still alive today. Eric is currently serving as the marketing, communications, and programs specialist for FFF, a role that he took on after graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in advertising and a minor in business. He combines both passions for advertising and flu advocacy to raise awareness about the importance of flu vaccination by leading social media and brand ambassador campaigns for FFF. Through FFF, Eric and his family have made it their mission to raise awareness about the importance of getting a flu vaccine every year.

  1. Why is fighting flu important to you, and how has it impacted you personally?
    I’m at an age where many of my friends and peers are on their own for the first time in their lives, and so while they can take care of themselves day to day, many are still figuring out how to stay healthy long-term without their parents or guardians’ guidance. It’s important to remind people my age to take preemptive health measures to protect themselves, like annual flu vaccination. Some young adults may underestimate how big of an obstacle the flu could be. Additionally, I know the devastation of losing a family member to a vaccine-preventable disease. Annual flu vaccines are an important, yet sometimes overlooked, precaution that could be the difference in saving someone’s life.
  2. What would you say to others who are hesitant to get a flu vaccine?
    I’ve seen first-hand how missing a yearly flu vaccine can hurt a family. Nobody enjoys getting a vaccine, but the risks [of not getting a vaccine] are much higher than people realize. Getting your flu vaccine every year is crucial for protecting both you and the people you see every day. I think since the pandemic, misinformation has played a large role in the spread of vaccine hesitancy, so it is important to do your own research, check your sources, and remember that the flu does not discriminate.
  3. What lead you to be involved in FFF
    Ever since I could remember, I knew I wanted to volunteer to honor my older sister and follow in my parent’s footsteps when I was old enough. The older I get, the more opportunities I find to make a difference within the organization [FFF], and I am extremely honored to be able to represent FFF through my position. It is very rewarding to be able to give back to the community through advocacy about an issue that is near and dear to me.
  4. How are you taking a stance to fight flu?
    In addition to getting my flu vaccine very year and reminding my friends to do the same, now that I work for FFF, I am promoting the importance of getting your flu vaccine in different ways. Some of my responsibilities include being the senior advisor of the Families Fighting Flu Junior Board, where I recruit college students across the country to run campaigns on their social media accounts to raise flu awareness at their respective campuses. Additionally, I am involved in organizing and managing silent auctions at a bi-annual “Rock out the Flu” event that raises money and awareness for flu education and vaccination. I help create campaigns where we partner with like-minded organizations, and campaigns that give every individual the tools they need to fight vaccine misinformation.