UpShot Online 2008 Quarter 2 – Page 2


Immunization Branch

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2007-2008 Campaign Uses Surround-Sound Marketing to Raise Public Awareness

By Alma Thompson, Public Information, Education, and Training

It used to be called “multiple-touch-point” marketing, now it’s called “surround-sound” marketing. A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.

The 2007 immunization campaign employed “surround-sound” marketing techniques in its latest efforts to raise public awareness. The method was most useful in grassroots activities and special events with local collaborators. Surround-sound marketing is the expansion and enrichment effect created when you experience multiple channels all around you. The effect is similar to a movie theater where speakers surround all the walls in a theater.  You just can’t miss hearing or seeing the message.

Retail collaborations/display booths

To aid the traditional use of advertising channels, such as TV and radio, this public awareness campaign expanded successful grassroots activities that had been piloted in San Antonio during the fall of 2006. The Immunization Branch collaborated with chain retail and grocery stores to reach a captive target audience. Pregnant and nursing women gravitated to the display booths in all campaign market locations.  The participating stores invited the Immunization Branch back next year, with the goal of increasing the number of event locations.

Unusual educational tools

The retail events included information display booths with traditional posters and brochures as well as special educational tools for parents. Mothers readily accepted both the picture frame magnets and concert-style T-shirts that were distributed.

The magnets featured the recommended immunization schedule, which could be popped out of the frame and used as a separate refrigerator magnet. The frame itself included a reminder of the campaign emphasis that “Every Vaccine Counts,” including the 4th DTaP at 15-18 months. The frame offers great utility and can be used on a refrigerator or even at a work station.

The T-shirts were designed concert-style with the message “Every Vaccine Counts” and “4th DTaP due at 15-18 months” replicating a concert band and tour name. The recommended immunization schedule was on the back imitating concert tour dates, similar to concert T-shirts, which depict cities throughout a tour. The audience saw the t-shirt approach as “hip” and “cool.”

The use of more unusual methods to get reminder tools in the hands and daily use of parents is key to developing the surround-sound effect. Media studies indicate that the more times the audience sees the same message in different mediums, the more likely it is to stay in their mind. These particular tools were developed for daily use. It is hard not to notice the schedule if it is there every time you open the refrigerator or each time you see yourself put on the shirt.


The Immunization Branch also obtained subscriptions on health TV monitors to run its campaign TV ads in physicians’ waiting rooms. These ads will be rotated out with other health messages throughout the day.

In addition, DSHS will distribute a 5-7 minute video to physicians’ offices, hospitals, and clinics, as well as community and recreation centers in 2008.

The video is presented as a news segment from ImmunizeTexasTV and mimics a TV news-magazine format, complete with commentary. News magazines, like 60 Minutes or 20/20, generally allow more in-depth coverage into stories. The video format seeks to give the audience a deeper look into an issue and an understanding of the context surrounding the news story rather than just the facts. The effect is similar to a short documentary.

The video takes a look at the issue of vaccines as a way to build a child’s health from the perspective of physicians and parents. It is told in storybook fashion, matching the same messages in the trio of TV ads and the newspaper insert from the 2007 immunization campaign. The messages emphasize building immunity, following the recommended immunization schedule, and remembering the fourth DTaP.

DSHS based the new and creative approaches on an analysis of respondents’ feedback during recent public awareness campaign evaluations. The evaluation addressed audience needs, so the following campaign was developed in response to their answers. Previous Immunization Branch campaign studies showed that parents work in conjunction with their physicians to keep up to date on vaccinations. They also showed that mothers want reminder tools, and cited national and local television broadcasts as their main news media source for health information.

According to the current Census, the largest numbers of women giving birth in Texas are between the ages of 20-28. Past Immunization Branch campaign studies have captured this age demographic. DSHS staff tailored the new campaign strategies to meet the needs of this young demographic.

For more information, contact Alma Lydia Thompson at 1-800-252-9152 or at

Guidelines to Avoid Vaccine Losses 


By Vaccine Services Group

Losses Due to Expiration

  • Always use short dated vaccines first. 
  • Arrange vaccine in order of expiration, placing shortest dated in the front.  This will make it easier to use the shorter expiration date first.
  • Notify Local Health Department (LHD) or Health Service Region (HSR) staff when vaccine is within 90 days of expiration.  This will allow time to relocate the vaccine.

  • Check your vaccine inventory weekly by conducting a physical count; make sure there are no short expiration dates that were overlooked.

Losses Due to Temperature

  • Check the refrigerator and freezer temperatures twice daily (beginning and end), and record them on the Temperature Recording Form (C-105). Refrigerator temperatures should be maintained at 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC), and freezer temperatures should be maintained at or below 5ºF (-15ºC).  A refrigerator target temperature of 40ºF is recommended.
  • Ensure that Varicella vaccine is stored in a freezer with separate refrigerator and freezer doors (e.g. household style appliance) or in a stand-alone unit.  A dormitory style refrigerator/freezer combination is not acceptable for storing TVFC vaccines.
  • Store vaccines properly (refrigerator or freezer) immediately upon receipt.
  • Place at least two working thermometers (one must be a certified thermometer available from TVFC) in the central area of the refrigerator and freezer (not in the doors).
  • Store vaccines in the body of the refrigerator and freezer (not in the doors or vegetable bins).
  • Place bottles of water in the refrigerator and ice packs in the freezer to help maintain proper temperatures.  Bottles can be placed in the door of refrigerator and ice packs in the door of the freezer to avoid accidentally storing vaccine in the door of the refrigerator/freezer.

Losses Due to Accidents or Power Outages

  • Maintain an updated written vaccine contingency plan that is accessible to all staff in the event of a power failure or mechanical difficulty.
  • Attach plug guards to wall outlets used for vaccine refrigerators/freezers, or wire the appliances directly into a junction box that cannot be unplugged.  Contact your LHD or HSR for a plug guard if one is needed.
  • Post a warning sign near the outlet to help prevent accidental unplugging.
  • If possible, place an alarm device on refrigerators/freezers storing vaccines, and maintain scheduled testing and battery replacement.
  • Maintain adequate packing supplies in case vaccines need to be moved.

For Additional Information Contact 1-800-252-9152.

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Last updated January 10, 2011