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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Howard County Health Department
State: MD
Date Added: 12/01/2009
Themes: Communications - Priority Groups
Issue Summary: Communication Effort with Young People
Description of Issue(s): It is often difficult to reach college age students who fall into the CDC priority groups for H1N1. Many of them do not want to be vaccinated and are often not plugged into the media outlets that many health departments choose to use.
Actions taken to address the issue(s): Since it is difficult to get the attention of individuals 18-24 we decided to go to them , literally and figuratively. We hosted a clinic on the campus of the largest college in our county, Howard County Community College, which has about 7,000 enrolled students. In order to let students know about the clinic we started pages on facebook and twitter and worked directly with the college. With their help we were able to send mass emails and text messages in order to inform the students of the on campus clinic.
Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: In early November we held a two day clinic at the college and were about to vaccinate about 2,500 young people in the priority groups. As a side effect we have also begun to use facebook and twitter as a means for communicating to the public at large.

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