4media group conducted PR research and a broadcast day with the global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca. These elements were part of AstraZeneca’s Share Good Times Not Flu campaign which urges parents to book a vaccine appointment or return school consent forms now ‘before flu finds you’. The campaign follows the NHS in England’s announcement that their nasal spray flu vaccine, or alternative inactivated influenza vaccine if contraindicated or unsuitable, is available to more children than ever before. In England, the 2018/2019 childhood flu vaccination programme offers the vaccine to eligible children in school year 5 (9 and 10-year-olds) for the first time.
The broadcast day was fronted by NHS Doctor and TV personality DR Ranj, who took time out from his busy TV schedule, Strictly Come Dancing training and NHS work to provide more information about the research and the flu vaccination programme.
The research of more than 2,000 parents, with children aged 2 to 10- years old conducted by our in-house research division, Atomik Research, highlights that while most of those surveyed agree that flu is an infectious virus that can lead to serious medical complications (84%), over half (52%) still consider flu to be “just like a bad cold”.
Flu is unlike the common cold; causing a fever, aching muscles, extreme tiredness in children, a stuffy nose, sore throat and a dry cough. In serious cases, flu can lead to complications such as painful ear infection, acute bronchitis and pneumonia. Flu is miserable for children and the family – it can take up to 7 days to recover, which can mean time off work and affect childcare arrangements. The flu virus changes continuously, but vaccination each year can help 'outsmart' flu.
There are several misconceptions concerning flu vaccination and how it works highlighted in the research. Whilst 72% correctly said that the nasal spray flu vaccine includes weakened flu viruses that help a child build up immunity, the findings also highlighted that 62% incorrectly believe that the nasal spray flu vaccine is a combination of chemicals that attacks the flu virus when it is detected by the immune system.
We secured an impressive 19 broadcast interviews for the broadcast day, including 10 regional BBC interviews such as BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester.