South LA, like other urban communities, is home to many residents skeptical about immunization.

People’s Attitudes Count! Immunize LA Famililes has employed social marketing tools as well as other strategies to educate the community and promote positive attitudes towards immunization.

“I Choose” Social Media Campaign Originally the California Department of Public Health Immunization Branch created a web-based campaign promoting immunization.In 2009 we adapted “I Choose” as a poster campaign disseminating a tailored message about the importance of immunization, aimed at altering social norms and increasing acceptance of immunization. We have made extensive use of our “I Choose” posters. Read more about “I Choose” here>>

Time of Transition From 2009 until the fall 2012, when the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) stopped funding Immunize LA Families, we utilized these posters in the community and at our WIC centers. Their value is clear. The posters remain on the walls of health clinics and other community partners, continuing to share their important message.

At our WIC centers, where immunization promotion is an important activity, we continue reminding visitors and staff about the importance of immunization with “I Choose” posters hung on the walls for all to see. We plan to create additional posters for our WIC centers in the months ahead. Learn about immunization promotion at WIC here>>

Despite the end of funding for the Immunize LA Families program, the Immunize LA Families Coalition members are continuing to promote immunization throughout the community as an independent organization and are considering utilizing the “I Choose” campaign. Read more about the IZLAF Coalition here>>

“I Choose” Posters Most of our colorful posters focus on an individual, with a large photo and personal testimonial about the reason that person chooses to be immunized. Medical clinic staff; pastors; congregation members, and federal, state, and local elected officials have been photographed for posters, as well as community members, Immunize LA Families Coalition members and WIC staff and participants. Some posters show groups of people–WIC staff members, Immunize LA Families Coalition members and others.

Among our “I Choose” participants are elected officials: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, former Congresswoman Diane Watson, State Assemblymember Isadore Hall III, State Assembly Member Holly Mitchell and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Recent “I Choose” campaign partners are Dollarhide Neighborhood Center, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Parish, University Seventh Day Adventist Church, South Central Family Health Center, To Help Everyone (T.H.E.) Clinic, and Watts Healthcare Corporation.

Nearly 125 posters line community center halls, hang in clinic exam and waiting rooms, grace the walls of public officials’ local offices, hang in our WIC centers and have been displayed on Compton bus benches.

Effectiveness To gauge the effectiveness of our social marketing campaign, we conducted surveys. Evaluation results indicated that 57% of respondents surveyed at participating community centers after the 2009-2010 flu season said their family and/or friends had favorable attitudes toward immunization following the “I Choose” campaign, versus 39% of respondents at non-participating community centers.

Following the “I Choose” campaign at community centers, an increase in annual flu immunization coverage of 20% was reported at participating locations in comparison to a decrease of 12% at the non-participating sites.

Digital Stories We have produced digital stories–brief videos of South Los Angeles community members reflecting on their lives, sharing perceptions of the importance of immunization and explaining their decision to become immunized. Digital storytelling, utilized by a number of our departments, brings the voices of marginalized communities into focus.

Our immunization stories have been presented at various community venues, enlivening discussions about vaccination and preventable diseases.

Collaboration Production of both “I Choose” posters and digital stories has been a valuable collaborative process extending well beyond the marketing value of the two campaigns. Producing our digital stories has strengthened relationships between community members and Immunize LA Families staff. Working together on the “I Choose” campaign has fortified relationships between our community partners–churches and community centers that hosted flu immunization clinics–and other members of the Immunize LA Families Coalition.