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Flu and YOU… Your evaluation skills are needed! Please read!

By: IFA Guest Blogger Kimberley Littlemore, eHealth Digital Media

You know how one side of your nose gets blocked up worse than the other when you have a bad cold?  Well there IS a reason – or so I have just discovered.  Did you know that we have a nasal cycle?  It’s to do with smelling and air filtration… our nostrils share the workload in 3-6 hourly shifts and… I know I’m being a bit boring, but I am on day 6 of a hideous dose of ‘flu and am acutely aware of every ghastly symptom having looked it up, desperate for relief, on the internet.

And you know what’s even worse?  Earlier this year I made a film with an expert flu scientist after speaking at a conference in Berlin about how to increase vaccination rates.  Dr Bram Palache spoke about flu’s heavy impact on the population and he voiced his frustration, passionately, about low rates of vaccination.   He challenged us communicators in the room to, “Get things moving!”  I loved the way he spoke.  He really made an impact on me.

“Let’s make a film with YOU!” I said, “Put you on a mountain top and hear you speak to the world as evangelically as you have spoken to us.  THAT will motivate people to take action and head down to their pharmacy or clinic to get their flu jab.” And we did – make the film, that is.

We did a bit in the film about booking your jab in October (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) or May (if you live in the South) as the seasons change.  Job done I thought… it seemed great.  But then we read some academic papers about the dangers of getting this messaging wrong… some forms of well-intentioned communication are shown to make some vaccine-hesitant or resistant people even more determined to resist a message even though they might admit that it makes good sense.  Right! Let’s get evaluating!

We are some way to getting a full evaluation of the film underway… but trouble is, validated questionnaires are not that easy to come by… and THEN something else happened….  I have triplets.  They went to university in September in all three corners of the UK.  The two in the east and south came home for reading week.   It was October… I made my sure my elderly parents had their flu jab… I was going to get mine but I was busy… I was working, getting ready for the kids to come, and going on holiday next week. I’ll do it when I get back, I thought.  No rush.

BAM – 4 days after two young people carrying freshers’ flu bugs and a lot of washing, burst back into my life, I was horizontal.  I couldn’t speak, couldn’t stop shivering, couldn’t stand.   I ached in places I don’t know it was possible to ache. I couldn’t believe it.  So…

I think we’ve got to get this film out NOW and do a simple evaluation at the same time.  Would you like to be part of our research?  Please say yes… watch this 2-minute film and complete this short survey. It’s all anonymous and will help us evaluate if we are on the right path to increasing vaccination confidence.  I promise we are not selling you anything nor collecting email addresses… this is all about checking that we are doing the right thing.


Watch the film:

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Complete the survey here.



About Ms. Kimberley Littlemore

Ms. Kimberley Littlemore is a fellow of Swansea University Medical School and an award-winning former BBC film maker. At the BBC Kimberley oversaw the creation of documentary content on international development issues to raise funds for the developing world via the British charity Comic Relief. One of these fundraising films raised £5 million in 5 minutes – possibly the most successful fundraiser ever broadcast in the UK. As Creative Director of eHealth Digital Media, Kimberley is responsible for producing high quality film content, working with award-winning crews and graphic animators. Her strong academic abilities (MA, Oxford University, Dip Journ) allow her to combine visual flair with an ability to master and communicate complex theoretical and medical content. The innovation PocketMedic, created by Kimberley and her colleagues supports patients in the UK to better self-manage a range of chronic conditions. Her ambition is to deliver healthcare information to those living without reliable access to primary or secondary care in the developing world.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect official policy or position of the International Federation on Ageing and its employees or any other agency, organization, or company.

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