Ad Council, AMA, and CDC Urge Flu Vaccinations with “Get My Flu Shot” Campaign
PSAs highlight how getting an annual flu shot is the best way to reduce your risk from flu and its potentially serious complications, protect your loved ones, and enjoy the holiday season
October 12, 2022—The Ad Council, American Medical Association (AMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and CDC Foundation today launched their annual campaign to motivate more people to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza (flu) to protect themselves and their loved ones.
As the holidays approach, the organizations are reissuing their Get My Flu Shot campaign PSAs nationwide to reach people with the message that a flu shot can help you stay healthy, reduce your risk of severe outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, and avoid missing work, school, or special moments with family and friends. The campaign ads direct audiences to GetMyFluShot.org for more information, including where to get a flu vaccine in their area.
During a severe season, flu has resulted in as many as 41 million illnesses and 710,000 hospitalizations among the U.S. population. The past two flu seasons have seen historically low levels of flu—possibly due in part to public health interventions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing, that also helped reduce the spread of flu. It is possible that the U.S. population currently has lower levels of immunity against the flu due to less flu activity the past two years, along with recent drops in flu vaccine coverage. While we do not know what will happen during the upcoming flu season, flu vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.
At a time when Americans are generally feeling insecure about the economy, getting a flu shot can also help prevent lost earnings and added medical costs1.
CDC Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, José R. Romero, MD, said:
“Flu can be very serious, especially for those people who are at higher risk of getting very sick with flu, like young children, older adults, pregnant people, and people with chronic health conditions. Certain racial and ethnic minority groups also bear an unequal burden of flu hospitalizations and are also less likely to be vaccinated. While we don’t know what will happen this flu season, we know that flu vaccination is the most important tool we have to prevent severe flu outcomes. CDC remains committed to emphasizing the benefits of flu vaccination, especially among those groups of people who are disproportionately impacted.”
AMA Board of Trustees Chair-elect Willie Underwood, M.D., MSc, MPH, said:
“The flu vaccine is safe, effective, and can be taken in tandem with the COVID-19 vaccine and booster doses. We encourage everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated against the flu, including people who are pregnant and immunocompromised. As part of our continued efforts to ensure optimal health for all people and address health inequities, we’re continuing to focus our flu campaign on reaching Black and LatinX communities.”
The Get My Flu Shot campaign will also offer new FAQ videos featuring medical professionals and other trusted messengers to help address questions and concerns about flu shots and provide fact-based messaging and resources.
The campaign ads (titled #FluFOMO and “No Time for Flu”) and FAQ videos will be distributed nationwide with a continued emphasis on reaching Black and Hispanic communities due to longstanding health care inequities that have created undue burden and barriers in their communities. These groups remain at a higher risk of severe illness from the flu, and less likely to be vaccinated against flu.2
Ad Council President and CEO Lisa Sherman said:
“Our Get My Flu Shot campaign is back with new tools and resources to help motivate Americans to get vaccinated against flu this season. We’re honored to continue our work with AMA and CDC to share this important annual message with all audiences, especially people who are at an increased risk for severe complications from flu. Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and avoid missing out on special moments this holiday season.”
The Get My Flu Shot ads were created pro bono by advertising agency fluent360 and will appear in print, TV, radio, social media, out-of-home, and digital formats nationwide in time and space donated by the media. Inspired by the insight that people are motivated by caring for their loved ones, and that many are juggling more responsibilities than ever this year, the campaign illustrates how getting sick with flu doesn’t just mean feeling ill—it could significantly disrupt the lives of individuals and their families.
CDC recommends that everyone six months and older (with rare medical exceptions) get a flu vaccine each year. For people 65 years and older, three influenza vaccines (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublok Quadrivalent, and Fluad Quadrivalent) have been preferentially recommended for the 2022-2023 season3. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time if you are eligible for both and the timing coincides. Each year, CDC and AMA undertake a range of efforts to increase the number of people who receive a flu vaccine. This season those efforts include working with doctor’s offices and pharmacies to provide guidance on giving flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time and supporting community-based efforts to increase vaccination among racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States.
This spotlight was originally issued by the Ad Council as a press release on October 12, 2022