Campaign features online toolkit.
ARLINGTON, Va. – With trusted pharmacists and pharmacies among those waging a full-scale effort to help Americans get their influenza (flu) vaccinations at a crucial time, a new National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) campaign stresses that flu vaccinations are essential to protect public health and to prevent an overrun of the health care system due to the dual threat of flu and COVID-19.
NACDS – which represents national and regional pharmacies in the traditional drug store, supermarket and mass retail settings – has released English and Spanish video ads designed to spread that critical public health message. An online toolkit makes it easy for patient groups, allied health care associations, businesses, government, and others to sign up as partners and to use the ads, polling data, social media resources and more. NACDS also is spreading the word through national satellite media tours.
“Adding to the challenge of defeating COVID-19 is a flu season that is rapidly approaching and presenting the possibility of a two-front public health war,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “We need to call on Americans to do what they can right now to protect themselves and to protect their loved ones, and getting their flu vaccinations is a vital part of that. Flu vaccinations are safe, effective and easy to get, and they are available for free under many insurance plans. Let’s beat the flu together, and pharmacies also will be there to defeat COVID-19 when those vaccinations are available.”
“All health care professionals, including pharmacists, have an important role to play in encouraging everyone age 6 months and older to get vaccinated each year against flu,” said Marla Dalton, CAE, executive director and CEO of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “Flu vaccination is especially important this year to help protect individuals and prevent additional strain on an already overburdened U.S. healthcare system.”
“Each year, influenza in the United States causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths,” said Dr. Judy Monro, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “When you add those numbers into illnesses and hospitalizations from COVID-19, which will be co-circulating with the flu, it provides a potentially daunting situation for our health and public health systems. Everyone should get a flu vaccination to protect themselves and others from this dangerous threat.”
NACDS notes the importance of raising the public’s awareness of flu vaccinations’ importance, as demonstrated by a recent poll that it commissioned and that was conducted by Morning Consult. The poll found that while two-thirds of adults (67%) say getting a flu vaccination is important to protecting health right now, this is shy of the percentage of those who indicate the importance of wearing a mask (86%), washing hands (93%), physical distancing (89%), and staying home when sick (93%).
NACDS will announce additional aspects of its flu vaccination awareness campaign in the coming days.
More information is available at NACDS.org/COVID-19.