California Marco Torres stood on a busy road and waved an oversized yellow arrow with an unconventional message for a street marketing campaign: “FREE TODAY: H1N1 Flu Shots for All.”
Local health officials launched the human billboard campaign at a time when health departments around the country are going to great lengths to spread the word that swine flu vaccines are in abundant supply and available for free to anyone who wants one.
Their advertising tactics include horseback banners at rodeos and wristbands handed out at nightclubs. Maine officials set up a flu clinic at the high school basketball playoffs this week, while other health departments are giving patients shots at airports, malls and even a trade show.
The fact that clinics are practically begging people to get vaccinated is a dramatic shift from just a few months ago when people stood in long lines and waited — sometimes for hours — to get the scarce vaccine.
While the outbreak has waned, the virus is still circulating and authorities warn that another wave of infections could hit.