World's First Flu Chat Lab

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Title World's First Flu Chat Lab
Problem Addressed Traditional communication and education strategies by public health authorities are limited in their capacity to counteract anti-vaccine sentiment on the Internet. Millions of dollars were spent on public health education during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
Action Undertaken During and following the 2009 H1N1 pandemic we evaluated the perceptions of flu vaccine safety using a new zero-cost Web-based analytical tool we developed. We aggregated and displayed this dynamic information in real-time on a publicly accessible area (
Impact Achieved Results of our assessment and The Chat Lab were demonstrated at HealthAchieve 2009 and at the Innovation Expo where policy makers and visitors had the chance to interact and discuss our findings. We found that Web sites containing anti-vaccine sentiment remained popular after the approval of the vaccine by Health Canada. From October 2009 to December 2009, our vaccine safety perception results were shared with decision-makers who are studying our initiative to determine best practices in public health communications during a pandemic.
Tags Chat Lab, Flu, Strategy
Start Date 2009/11/01
End Date 2010/03/15
To measure, understand and trend the intensity of online global conversations about the h1n1 flu vaccine