• Text-Messaging Tool: An opt-in system through which people prescribed antiviral medications could receive text messages containing information about their flu treatment, potential side effects of antivirals, reminders to take their medicine, and other relevant advice.
These strategies are not yet government policy and are still under exploration. Determining the feasibility and acceptability for these alternatives is ongoing with public health officials and private-sector entities. Before moving ahead, however, the CDC recognized the importance of also exploring the public’s perception of the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of these strategies. Therefore, it asked the IOM to design and convene community conversations in three locations across the country to engage the public on the five strategies outlined above.
This document is intended to summarize the discussions and key takeaway points at the three community conversations. Unique ideas presented at the workshops are not attributed to individual participants, in keeping with the workshop design that intentionally excluded the recording of personally identifiable viewpoints in order to protect participant confidentiality and create an environment in which these topics could be discussed openly. Situations where several participants made similar points at all three community conversation locations are identified as “common themes.” Throughout the summary, themes identified at a specific community conversation are followed by the appropriate two-letter state abbreviation of that location in parentheses. It is important to note that there is inherent variation in the specific discussions that took place at each community conversation, which is attributable to the individuality and diversity of each participant group. Therefore, the absence of discussion on any one specific idea in a particular location does not suggest that those participants were in favor or against that idea. Any opinions, conclusions, or recommendations discussed in this workshop summary are solely those of the individual participants and should not be construed as reflecting consensus or endorsement by the workshop, the Preparedness Forum, or the IOM.