DoH flu jab push to target the vulnerable

The Department of Health’s (DoH) influenza immunisation campaign this winter will target those considered vulnerable, including diabetics and asthmatics.

The campaign will launch in October and run until January. The Forster Company has been appointed to manage the drive, which will involve a media relations push targeting older people’s publications and trade titles, and partnership programmes with voluntary organisations for old people, ethnic minority groups and people at risk.

It is hoped the campaign will better last year’s 71 per cent take-up rate among the over-65s.

Organisers are aiming to secure endorsement from the same celebrities as the 2003 effort, backed by Terry Wogan, Bruce Forsyth and Diana Rigg. Forster Company account director Amanda Duffy said: ‘The key is for people to get flu jabs in October and November because they will then be immune to the virus when it comes along later.’

Euro RSCG will devise an advertising campaign. Ex-boxer Henry Cooper was formerly used in flu vaccination adverts.

The Forster Company co-ordinated the DoH’s flu PR push last year, when there was a two per cent increase in the take-up of the jabs.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 deaths in England and Wales are attributed to the flu virus each year.

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