Outreach Strategies You Should be Using this Flu Season
What You Need to be Communicating to Your Patients & Community.
Even as the peak season for influenza (flu) virus approaches, the Coronavirus pandemic doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. One primary way of keeping safe from the flu virus is by taking the flu shot; a vaccine administered once a year. However, most people are torn between taking the vaccine and forgoing it due to the assumption that getting both the flu shot and the COVID-19 booster at the same time could negatively affect their health.
However, evidence suggests otherwise. The annual influenza vaccine guidelines for 2021/2022 released by the CDC indicate that it is safe to get both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine or booster on the same day. In fact, the CDC highly advises people to take their first or second COVID-19 dose or a booster when they go for their flu shot.
But why is this the case? Taking both the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine benefits your health in many ways. Read on to find out why clinics are letting people schedule appointments to get both jabs at the same.
How Does The Flu Vaccine Work?
Approximately two weeks after taking the flu vaccine, your body produces antibodies that protect it against any infection that the influenza virus may cause. All flu vaccines in the US are quadrivalent, meaning they protect you against 4 different flu viruses: an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses.
Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Be Vaccinated?
Everyone aged 6 months and above is legible for a flu shot every year, with some rare exceptions. Those at a higher risk of developing severe flu complications need to get the shot more.
Different flu vaccines are approved to be used on people of varying age groups. Some vaccines should not be used on a specific group of people, and this will depend on their age, current health condition or previous health history, and allergic reactions to the vaccine and its components.
Do You Really Need A Flu Shot This Year?
If you’re asking yourself this question, know that you are not alone. So many people are undecided on whether they should take the flu vaccine or not. But these 3 reasons for taking the vaccine may just change your mind:
- The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the virus that causes around 36,000 deaths every year.
- The vaccine has very little (mild) to no side effects upon administration. The mild side effects may be soreness from the needle, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and fever.
- With new variants of COVID-19 still coming out and the cases increasing, now is not the time to get hospitalized for flu that you could have easily overcome by taking a vaccine.
Is It Advisable To Get Both Flu Shot And COVID-19 Booster At The Same Time?
According to the CDC, the current studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine can be administered alongside other vaccines, one of them being the influenza shot. This go-ahead issued by the CDC follows their previous guidance that indicated that people should wait for at least 2 weeks (14days) after receiving a COVID-19 jab before taking a different vaccine.
The CDC explains that this change is attributed to recent studies that explain how a body develops protection after receiving vaccines and its possible side effects is the same regardless of the number of vaccines administered at a particular time.
Why You Need both the Flu Shot and the COVID-19 Vaccine (And Booster)
Influenza and COVID-19 are two different diseases, so you’ll need both vaccines to stay protected from each one.
A flu shot will strengthen your body’s immune response and protect you from an influenza-attacking virus. On the other hand, a COVID-19 jab only increases your body’s immune response against an attack by a coronavirus. No particular vaccine works for both the flu and COVID-19, making it necessary to take both shots for independent purposes.
Just because you get the COVID-19 vaccine does not imply that you are safe from the effects of the flu virus.
What is the Most Effective and Efficient Way to Communicate this Message and Aid in Outreach and Community Education?
In 2020 alone, Connected TV investments rose by 40.6%, and CTV advertising was among the fastest rising digital channels, as reported by Insider Intelligence. This clearly shows that marketers are reaping heavily from CTV ads, and the benefits are specifically significant for healthcare providers.
Through CTV, marketers in the healthcare sector get data-driven, audience-specific, and optimized video content that provides better ways to reach patients and the community as they watch with their gadgets.
Even though linear TV is the commonly known marketing channel, it’s not the most effective. CTV provides all the benefits of linear TV, but with more control on the audience receiving your ads. It enables you to leverage clinical data, first-party data, and NPI lists to create campaigns specifically for your healthcare services and patient audience.
Healthcare marketing campaigns usually tend to inform patients of the services that can benefit them. Using Display and CTV ads will help you create campaigns to educate the community on the need to take the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness on why taking both shots at the same time is needed, and persuade more patients to receive their shots.
Other Benefits of Display and CTV Advertising to Your Health Center.
- You will reach your target audience more efficiently
- CTV and display advertising is more affordable compared to traditional advertising
- It is more accessible. You can reach your target audience using different channels.
- It provides a significant impact on your campaign
The CDC recommends getting both the flu and COVID-19 shots simultaneously as the peak season for the flu virus approaches. Some people are still unaware of the new CDC recommendations and still dread taking both shots at the same time.
As a healthcare provider, it is essential to educate your patients and the community on the importance of taking the jabs. One primary way of creating awareness and targeting your audience is through display and CTV Ads. This healthcare marketing strategy will help you relay your message efficiently while saving time and money.
Contact Target Continuum for Healthcare Marketing Services
Seeking to take your healthcare marketing to the next level? Contact Target Continuum today and let us expand your patient outreach.