Influenza is an infection which can result in severe, prolonged, devastating illness and even death, along with increasesd of in hospital stays and additionaled costs. The risk of complications associated with influenza is highest among older persons, young children, patients with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women.
Physicians and other healthcare personnel play an important role in both preventing and transmitting the virus. The virus can be transmitted by symptomatic as well as asymptomatic healthcare professionals, increasing exposure of patients and employees to the virus. Yet and despite this, the immunization rates among healthcare personnel remain very low.
To address this problem, the WMA launched a global communications campaign for immunization amongst physicians with the support of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). In the first year of its launch, the campaign targeted physicians through the WMA member associations to promote influenza immuniszation and encourage physicians to act as role models. The following year, 2014, the emphasis was on people living with NCDs as secondary targets. In 2015, the focus was shifted to children, as one of the vulnerable groups. Numerous resources assets were created throughout the life of the campaign, including the dedicated campaign microsite, advocacy materials, videos, interviews, blogs and the social media resources outlets which are all and are available free of charge from the campaign webpage.