Influenza Vaccine In-Flight PSA Has Pediatricians Criticizing Delta
An advertisement that names influenza vaccine alternatives has Delta Air Lines under fire for its in-flight programming, ABC News reported Friday.
Dr Richard Besser, chief health and medical editor for ABC, said the ad is misleading about the flu vaccine. "Flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the flu," he said. "This was not made clear in the ads from the National Vaccine Information Center."
Robert Block, The American Academy of Pediatrics president, sent a letter to Delta urging the airline to remove the public service announcements and review its approval procedures for in-flight programming.
The three-minute PSA by the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) contains a statement by its president and co-founder, Barbara Loe Fisher, stating the vaccine doesn't prevent 80 percent of flu cases.
But in his letter, Block wrote the organization, by discouraging flu shots, is "putting the lives of children at risk, leaving them unprotected from vaccine-preventable diseases," Block wrote.
In a response, Delta admitted the ad does not advocate vaccines as the most effective flu prevention method. "Therefore, we have changed our internal review processes and procedures to help ensure that submitted content is vetted differently going forward," wrote the airline's general manager of occupational health, Barbara Martin, though she didn't specify specific changes the airline planned to make.