PSAs encourage kids and parents to get vaccinated
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in conjunction with the Ad Council and the Jim Henson Company, has released a new series of 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) about the importance of getting the 2009 H1N1 vaccine. Targeted to parents and children, the PSA campaign features 15 governors, a state first lady, a state chief medical officer and the main character from the PBS’ series “Sid the Science Kid” and reminds the public that getting vaccinated is the best way to stay healthy during this flu season.
“Getting a Shot: You Can Do It”
“Children are especially vulnerable to the H1N1 flu,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Not only are they at higher risk for complications from H1N1, they can also easily spread the virus because of school, day care, and other group activities. That’s why we are pleased to team up with governors and Sid the Science Kid as we reach out to children and their parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.”
“Right now, Americans have a window of opportunity to protect themselves and their communities by getting vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 flu,” Secretary Sebelius said. “While disease has declined in many areas of the country, the flu is unpredictable and there could be additional waves of illness. Getting vaccinated is the best way to lessen the impact of, or even prevent, another wave of H1N1 flu.”
Children, young adults under 25, pregnant women and adults 25-64 with underlying health conditions such as asthma, are more susceptible to falling ill to the 2009 H1N1 flu and are at higher risk for serious medical complications, including hospitalization and death. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that individuals in these groups, as well as caretakers of children younger than 6 months of age, and health care workers, get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 47 million people were infected with the 2009 H1N1 flu between mid-April and Nov. 14, 2009. More than 200,000 H1N1-related hospitalizations and more than 9,800 H1N1-related deaths occurred during that period. CDC estimates there were over 71,000 H1N1-related pediatric hospitalizations, over 1,000 pediatric deaths, and a total of 16 million pediatric H1N1 cases during that time.
Earlier this fall, a special episode of “Sid the Science Kid” — “Getting a Shot: You Can Do It” — premiered on PBS KIDS. In that episode Sid and his friends get vaccinated against the flu. The special episode will continue running on PBS KIDS through 2010 and is available for download on www.Flu.gov.
This new PSA series builds on the Department’s initial PSA campaign that was launched earlier this year and includes messages from members of Congress, Sesame Street’s Elmo, and top health officials, as well as an Ad Council campaign for TV and radio called “Together We Can All Fight the Flu.” All of these PSAs are available at www.Flu.gov.
The new 30-second television PSAs are being distributed locally through the Ad Council. The PSAs are accessible at www.adcouncil.tv or by visiting www.Flu.gov.
About The Advertising Council
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Pajanimals.” Features include “The Dark Crystal,” “Labyrinth,” “MirrorMask,” and “Unstable Fables” and television productions include “Fraggle Rock” and the sci-fi cult series “Farscape.”