Adolescents are a very challenging target group, especially for vaccinations, as they rarely visit healthcare professionals, they are not very consistent with their health and often fall between the responsibility of the pediatricians and the adult general practitioners. Adolescent vaccinations, especially for Meningitis, is a very important health concern. Meningitis occurs more often in infancy but incidents in adolescence are extremely dangerous because adolescents do not often see HCPs and wait longer to visit, with symptoms such as high fever.
The Adolescent Vaccines campaign, with the collaboration of the WHO Survey for Children and Adolescent Health Policy and Adolescent Medicine Centres in Europe, aims to utilise all available communication channels to reach adolescents and their parents and promote adolescent vaccinations. Schools, Universities and Cities (controlling Education and Sports Facilities) will be invited to work together with the medical community and the local healthcare professionals, targeting to increase vaccination uptake among adolescents. The campaign includes:
➡️ Cities Coalition
Cities play a crucial role in passing the message to adolescents. Municipalities control the Education and Sports facilities in their area, the places where adolescents gather and spend the majority of their day. Moreover, municipalities often control the facilities or grant permissions for major music events and concerts that are organised and which are usually attended by large crowds of adolescents.
A number of cities are already heavily involved in promoting exercise and healthy lifestyles to their citizens. As a pilot program, the campaign will engage with 10 selected European cities aiming to add the protection against vaccine-preventable diseases among the healthy life choices they are promoting through their communication channels, targeting adolescents in the places where they gather. Ready to use communication materials will be sent to the cities for adaptation and use.
➡️ Cities Network
Vaccines Together will expand our network to include a special area to promote and report on activities and interventions taken by cities (including schools and sports facilities) across Europe. Representatives from the pilot cities will be asked to present their activities and share their experiences.
Pilot cities will publish a call for other cities to join the network and engage. Our target is to build a network of municipalities that will actively promote vaccinations to adolescents and will invite other cities across Europe to join the network and implement interventions advised.
Communication Materials as part of the campaign to include; Posters for schools and sports facilities, banners for municipality websites, social media banners, leaflets and newsletters.
➡️ Training the Educators and the Influencers
Teachers and Sports coaches are in everyday direct contact with adolescents and they could influence their decisions and shape their attitudes towards vaccination. It is important to raise awareness among them, place vaccination at the top of their head, provide the necessary information and evidence and equip them with the skills needed for them to speak and promote protection against vaccines preventable diseases as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Two series of webinars will be organised; one for teachers, school managers and educators and a second for sports coaches, team managers and lead athletes. Cities will be asked to help in promoting the webinars through their channels to secure attendance. Attendees will be asked to share the webinars and invite their colleagues from other cities and areas to attend the webinars.
➡️ Multi-Stakeholder Meeting
Representatives from 10 municipalities, education experts from schools and universities across Europe and sports coaches will be invited to meet (live and via Skype/virtually) and discuss with vaccines experts and representatives from adolescent's health centres and government organisations. The working group meeting's goal will be to advise interventions and best strategies to mobilise schools, universities, cities and sports teams to actively promote vaccinations for the protection of the individuals, along with the protection of their communities.
Are you a representative of a municipality and you would like your city to be one of the pilot cities? Click here to send us the details
Are you a teacher or sports team coach and you would like to be involved in the campaign? Click here to send us the details
Do you want to suggest an activity to be included in the campaign or nominate yourself to present one of the webinars? Click here to send us the details