ICF bags $2.4m CDC contract to promote immunization

WASHINGTON: ICF International has won a $2.4 million contract with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases to develop a campaign promoting timely immunization for adults age 40 and older.

WASHINGTON: ICF International has won a $2.4 million contract with the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases to develop a campaign promoting timely immunization for adults age 40 and older.

The effort will target consumers who should receive vaccines based on high-risk medical conditions like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes, as well as healthcare professionals who serve those consumers.

The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency has found that there are gaps in coverage for some vaccines across racial and ethnic groups and people with specific high-risk medical conditions. For instance, the pneumococcal vaccination coverage rates estimated for non-Hispanic whites age 65 and older was 63.5%, compared with 46.2% for non-Hispanic blacks and 39% for Hispanics.

“There is a lack of awareness among adults that vaccines are even needed, and many adults erroneously believe that healthy people do not need vaccines,” the RFP said. Approximately 42,000 adults in the US die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

“There is confusion in the marketplace about vaccine availability and safety,” said Courtney Partlow, VP at ICF. “From the healthcare perspective, there is confusion about CDC's schedule for adult vaccinations. It's not as engrained in the culture as [it is for children].”

As part of the two year-contract, ICF will also manage radio PSAs and coordinate radio tours and media roundtables. There is no incumbent on the account.

A CDC representative did not immediately return a request for comment. The federal agency is also considering pitches for contracts that promote human papillomavirus vaccine to parents of preteen boys and girls, as well as other work promoting vaccinations.

ICF also won a contract to develop and disseminate educational information to states in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. The firm will develop electronic educational tools for state health departments, hospitals, and first responders to prepare for or respond to injuries from an attack or another mass-casualty event. The total contract is worth nearly $400,000.

Last month, the CDC awarded Ogilvy Public Relations a $1.3 million contract to support its "Dating Matters" initiative, which promotes healthy relationships among teens.

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