Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date

February 2012


Each year thousands of individuals in the United States are diagnosed with cases of seasonal influenza (flu) and the recent pandemic strain ofH1N1 influenza. Complications ofthe flu can lead to serious health issues resulting in hospitalization and even death. Vaccination for seasonal flu and H1N1 can decrease the number ofcases ofthe flu, thus decreasing the number of complications resulting from infection. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the population chooses not to get vaccinated every year for the seasonal flu because they do not trust vaccine safety and effectiveness. To gain the public’s trust and increase the number ofinfluenza inoculations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments should incorporate John Kotter’s eight-stage plan for leadership change. Kotter’s plan helps groups create goals that eventually lead to a cultural change. Goals ofeducating both the general population and individuals at risk ofcomplications from the flu will lead to an increase in trust and eventual reduction ofinfluenza complications and deaths.