Vaccine Information Sessions
Advocacy includes not only working with political leaders and scientists but also engaging media and the public. The media plays an important role in increasing and informing public awareness of diseases and vaccines. As a result, it is important to ensure that journalists are properly informed of issues and initiatives in their regions. An informed and active public can advocate for vaccines at a grassroots level, and media outreach is one of the best ways to reach a broad audience.
In Latin America, journalists traditionally have a broad role to fill. They are responsible for reporting on many topics, instead of focusing on just one field. Without the time to specialize in one area, topic specific training sessions play an important role in both educating journalists and drawing their attention to issues. It is important to ensure that, as a part of advocacy campaigns, journalists are educated about relevant public health concerns and issues surrounding vaccination.
In April 2011, Sabin and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia hosted the first Vaccine Information Session for Journalists in Lima, Peru. Over 30 journalists from 17 countries in the Region of the Americas attended the session.
In October 2012, 20 Journalists from nine countries came together in São Paulo, Brazil to hear the latest information on vaccines and their lifesaving potential. This session was held in conjunction with the Brazilian Immunization Society (SIBm) and the Medical School of the Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo.