Health Net’s Social Media Campaign: Whooping Cough Vaccination

Health Net has created an innovative, social-media driven campaign to educate teens about the importance of getting vaccinated.


With whooping cough on the rise, Health Net is committed to educating the public about the importance of getting the whooping cough vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of whooping cough cases in the United States could reach a 50-year high in 2012. The CDC’s forecast is based on the fact that twice as many cases of whooping cough have been reported this year as compared to the same point in 2011. In light of this potentially deadly trend, Health Net is working to increase awareness regarding the importance of infants, children, teens, and adults getting a whooping cough vaccine or booster shot.  Feel free to share this vital information with your clients.


Facts about Whooping Cough:

  • Whooping cough is a highly contagious, potentially fatal disease that can cause violent coughing spasms for up to 10 weeks.
  • The CDC reports that unvaccinated children have eight times the risk for contracting whooping cough.
  • When vaccinated children do come down with the disease, not only are their symptoms milder, but they are less likely to pass their infection onto others.


Spreading the whooping-cough word online  Social media for teens on the importance of whooping cough vaccinations

In anticipation of the projected rise in whooping cough cases, Health Net created an innovative, social-media driven campaign to educate teens about the importance of getting vaccinated. The campaign — which is targeted toward teens ages 13 through 18 and can be accessed nationwide at – was launched last year as part of T2X, a health-literacy, social-media program that was created through a partnership between Health Net, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and EPG Technologies.

“Our whooping cough educational campaign is designed not only to inform teens about the importance of getting vaccinated, but also to help them feel comfortable about actually getting the vaccine,” explains Nancy Wongvipat Kalev, MPH, Health Net’s director of Health Education and Cultural Linguistic Services. “As a final component of the campaign,” she adds, “we provide teens with tools to take the step of making a vaccination appointment.”

The whooping cough campaign — which features whooping cough facts, quizzes, and videos — utilizes a variety of digital platforms to engage and inform teens about this pressing medical issue.

Feedback received thus far from teens who’ve explored the campaign’s multi-faceted components indicates that their knowledge about whooping cough has increased, and they’re more positively inclined to get the vaccine.


Share the whooping cough vaccination guidelines with your clients

The CDC notes that there are two types of whooping cough vaccines—DTaP for infants and children—and Tdap for adolescents and adults. The CDC points out that Tdap is particularly important for family members residing with an infant and for those who provide care for infants. Following is a brief summary of the CDC’s whooping cough vaccination recommendations:

  • Infants and children should receive five doses of the DTaP vaccine – one each at 2, 4, and 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years. All five doses are needed for maximum protection. Children ages 7 through 10 who are not fully vaccinated with DTaP should receive a dose of Tdap instead of waiting for the 11-to-12-year-old checkup.
  • Teens should receive the Tdap vaccine at their regular checkup at age 11 or 12. If teenagers (13 through 18 years) missed getting the Tdap vaccine, parents should ask their health-care provider about getting it for them now.
  • Adults 19 years and older, who have not previously received a Tdap vaccine, should get a one-time dose of Tdap in place of the Td booster they’re recommended to receive every 10 years. There’s no need to wait until you are due for your Td booster—the dose of Tdap can be given earlier than the 10-year mark since the last Td booster. Receiving Tdap may be especially important during a community outbreak and/or if caring for an infant. Adults should consult with their health-care provider about what’s best for their specific situation.
  • Pregnant women who have not been previously vaccinated with Tdap should get one dose of Tdap starting during the third trimester or late in the second trimester, or as soon as possible after delivery or before leaving the delivery center.

For more information, visit


Medical Advice Disclaimer
The information provided is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition and follow your health care provider’s instructions.



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Stacy Madden