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Become a Flu Fighter
January 14, 2010
National Influenza Vaccination Week continues today with a focus on the importance of young adults getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu. As part of our outreach efforts, Secretary Sebelius announced a new Facebook application called "I'm a Flu Fighter."
This application allows users to select a Flu Fighting character and tell their friends that they received the flu vaccination and urge others to do the same. Users can also learn more about the flu vaccine and use the vaccine locator to find a clinic nearby where they can get vaccinated.
People often rely on the advice of close friends and family when it comes to personal matters of health. Through emerging social media tools like Facebook, we can share updates with our friends and family and promote positive health behaviors. This application gives people a fun way to encourage friends and family to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, and as a Flu Fighter, you are also helping to protect the people around you. It’s also particularly important right now, since we’re only at the beginning of the ordinary flu season.
If one person tells 5 friends, and they tell 5 friends each, and each of those friends tells another 5 friends, that is already 156 people. Imagine how many people we could encourage to get vaccinated if we each told just 5 friends -- or, even better, all of our Facebook friends. Together we can be Flu Fighters, and protect our families, friends, and communities from the flu, one vaccination at a time.
The application was developed through the HealthySocial research project at Children’s Hospital Boston in collaboration with HHS.