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PSAs Focus on Flu Vaccine Shortage

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NEW YORK Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson and the Ad Council Friday unveiled a PSA campaign designed to provide Americans with critical information about flu vaccinations.

The effort, tagged "Give others a shot," created pro bono by Omnicom Group's Merkley + Partners in New York, asks people to skip or postpone getting their shots if they are not in a priority group for the flu and also provides tips to prevent the flu's spread.

The campaign includes TV, radio and Internet executions. The PSAs are being distributed to 28,000 media outlets nationwide this week and will run in advertising time that is donated by the media.

The PSAs offer these steps to help prevent the spread of the flu: Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Keep your distance from others if you are sick. When possible, stay home from work, school; [don't run] errands when you are sick; and don't send your children to childcare or school if they are sick. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Clean your hands often.

The department's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stressed that flu shots need to go to those who are most vulnerable. The priority groups for flu vaccinations are all children, age 6-23 months; adults 65 and older; people 2-64, with underlying chronic conditions; all women who will be pregnant during the flu season; residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities; and children, 6 months to 18 years old on chronic aspirin therapy.

—Brandweek staff report