Families Fighting Flu Focuses on Protecting Grandparents from Flu

Families Fighting Flu-Michael Pool

Families Fighting Flu (FFF), a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to raising awareness about the seriousness of flu, produced a video series on the importance of annual flu vaccination for older adults. The Protecting Grandparents from the Flu video series features the Miller family and their battle with influenza when their granddaughter, Caroline, nearly died from flu complications at the age of five. The series also features the Mann-O’Brien family who describe the loss of their adult daughter, Kendra, who succumbed to flu at age 35.

 People over the age of 65 have an even greater chance of experiencing flu complications. At least 71 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths, and at least 54 percent of flu-related hospitalizations, occur with seniors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).1 There are now specially-designed flu vaccines for seniors, meant to protect older people who face an increased risk from influenza.1 As part of this campaign, an infographic was also created to highlight flu-related facts and statistics specific to seniors.

The Miller and Mann-O’Brien families know firsthand about the importance of annual flu vaccinations for everyone, including grandparents. Kathy Poole, Caroline’s grandmother and a retired nurse, shares her personal experience with flu. “That the flu could become something that was so devastating to this family…That black abyss is something that people can avoid if they would simply get the flu vaccine,” said Poole. She and her family share their stories in hope that no one else has to experience the near tragedy they went through. As part of the video series, Joan Mann discusses how she gets her annual flu vaccination to help protect her young grandchildren, whose mother Kendra sadly lost her life to this vaccine-preventable disease.

Protecting Grandparents from Flu

The Protecting Grandparents from Flu video series and its accompanying infographic were distributed through various communication channels and stakeholder engagement, reaching an estimated audience of 180 million people.

For more information on FFF and how you can get involved, please visit https://www.familiesfightingflu.org.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What You Should Know and Do this Flu Season If You Are 65 Years and Older. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm. Accessed: December 5, 2017