Oct 23, 2013

Improving flu vaccination education and promotion in underserved populations

By Oliva Avila

Even though everyone six months and older should get vaccinated to protect from the flu, some populations have a tough time getting a flu vaccine.

Often times, culturally-diverse and underserved populations do not have good access to healthcare providers or cannot afford to go see a doctor giving them few opportunities to get vaccinated for the flu. Growing up in a very rural town in a Hispanic household, I witnessed these challenges.

To help increase flu vaccination rates, a variety of organizations focus on promotion and education in targeted populations. One such group, the National Influenza Vaccine Disparities Partnership (NIVDP), works to promote vaccine importance among underserved populations including African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians and Alaskan Natives. The NIVDP is supported by the Center for Disease Control.

Each month, National Influenza Vaccine Disparities Partnership (NIVDP) releases the InFLUential News newsletter. This great media bulletin gives an overview of all of the important vaccination efforts across the United States. InFLUential News focuses mainly on underserved communities and successful outreach methods to increase flu vaccination rates in those populations.

The newsletter also highlights influential leaders in underserved populations. One such leader, Paula Benefeldt-Diaz, writes for the blog Growing Up Bilingual, which reaches a large Hispanic population. In a recent post, she dispelled many popular myths about the flu and the flu vaccine.

This newsletter is a stepping stone for spreading awareness about the flu and flu vaccination among underserved populations, and it is also a wonderful way to commend community leaders and organizations who work relentlessly in their communities.

For more information about the NIVDP and InFLUential News, click here.

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