Vaccines are the most important and effective method of preventing diseases that can cause death. However, in 2016, experts of the Romanian National Institute of Public Health have found that, in the case of 1 year old children, vaccine coverage was below 81%, while the target recommended by the World Health Organization is 95%. Moreover, 15% of the children were incompletely vaccinated according to the recommendations for their age. This happened for two reasons – the parents’ refusal and not showing up for vaccination.
This situation was caused by the lack of information about the recommended vaccines and the importance of respecting the vaccination schedule, as well as a temporary increased popularity of the opinions of some public figures who were against vaccines.
In this context and with 0 budget, we prepared a national campaign to promote the immunization of children, together with the Ministry of Health.
We created the “Vaccines save lives” campaign, with a video featuring the famous Romanian actor Victor Rebengiuc. It tells the story of the last century’s wars that killed 200 million people, while diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination killed over 600 million. The comparison between wars and diseases highlights the importance of vaccines for the prevention of some diseases that can seriously harm people’s health or even claim their lives.
Another important element of the campaign was the www.desprevaccin.ro platform, which became a valuable resource of official information provided by specialists from the Ministry of Health.
On the platform, parents could find information on both the benefits of immunization and the implementation of the National Vaccination Program, accompanied by testimonials of public figures who have vaccinated their children and encourage other parents to do so. The information presented on the platform was reviewed and updated daily by specialists, so the platform remained the main source of information for anyone seeking reliable information about vaccines.
In the first two days, the website registered about 15,000 active users, the Facebook page collected 713 likes, while the videos on the website have accumulated around 5000 views.
The campaign was created and implemented with the pro bono participation of Victor Rebengiuc, Multi Media Est production house, Gov IT Hub, the vaccinology group of the Romanian National Society of Family Medicine and other volunteers.