Sanofi Pasteur announces a new education campaign designed to help answer parents' questions about immunization and to offer healthcare professionals a reference tool to supplement their discussions about vaccination with patients.
The ImmYounity campaign provides consumer-friendly, accurate and science-based information about immunization that can be easily accessed at www.vaccines.com
The site contains useful facts and resources, including visuals that can be easily shared via social media and email, and is supplemented by educational brochures offered for use by healthcare providers.
While a majority of parents are committed to childhood vaccination, a rising tide of questions has emerged over the past 20 years regarding the benefit and safety of vaccines. Many parents have questions about vaccines and are looking for credible sources of information that respect their desire to come to a decision on their own terms. While parents continue to look to healthcare professionals for information, they also have more access than ever before to many other sources of information that can be confusing, conflicting and ultimately make it more difficult for parents to come to a well-informed decision about what is best for their children.
Leading up to the launch of ImmYounity, Sanofi Pasteur conducted a roundtable of thought leaders, including clinicians, public health leaders, and parents. The roundtable was conducted via Webcast with 22 experts. Following a short presentation on the current immunization environment and an initial view of the ImmYounity campaign, participants engaged in a dialogue to provide input into the approach, messages and creative and to share thoughts and identify key issues which ImmYounity might help to address.
"Now more than ever, parents are searching for factual, credible answers to their vaccine questions. Especially with the rise of social media, parents can easily find themselves confused and faced with information overload," says Dr. Laura Jana, roundtable contributor, pediatrician, author and founder of Practical Parenting Consulting. "As a result, they may feel that their vaccine questions are being left unanswered. The launching of a campaign like ImmYounity, dedicated to engaging parents, physicians, and others in a collaborative discussion about immunization, is likely to serve as a great resource."
Commenting on the need for additional tools to help the parent-physician dialogue, Flynn, associate dean for research and economic development at The Commonwealth Medical College noted: "Parents now come armed with pieces of information that have provoked many more questions about their children's health than ever before and medical professionals must figure out how to discuss and, in some cases, compete with many other, often contradictory, sources. It's critical that we find ways to give physicians the tools they need so they can speak to evidence in consumer-friendly ways."
As parents are increasingly committing to becoming informed healthcare consumers, vaccine advocates have been striving to develop programs that will ensure a more collaborative dialogue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, professional organizations, vaccine advocacy groups, academic institutions and leading vaccine manufacturers alike have all recognized the importance of establishing a more effective infrastructure to engage the public, particularly moms who typically make the healthcare decisions.
"From listening to parents' concerns about the current vaccine environment, we began to think about what else we could do to support them," says Phil Hosbach, vice president of immunization policy for Sanofi Pasteur. "We concluded that it is critical to enhance our commitment to educate parents about the importance of vaccines."
As part of the development of the ImmYounity campaign, several healthcare providers also signed a pledge to highlight their collective efforts and goals for approaching the immunization dialogue.