The federal government has unveiled a new advertising campaign to encourage consumers to get vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is joining with the Ad Council to launch a new nationwide public service advertising (PSA) campaign called “Together We Can All Fight the Flu” to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. Recent reports show that up to 30 percent of pregnant women who are infected with the H1N1 flu virus require hospitalization, and of the H1N1-related deaths reported in the United States, 6 percent of them – a disproportionately high percentage – were pregnant women. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the H1N1 flu virus,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Fighting the flu is a shared responsibility, and it is up to all of us to help prevent the spread of the flu in your community. Right now, Americans have a window of opportunity to get vaccinated. These new PSAs will encourage pregnant women, children, young adults, and other priority groups to protect themselves by getting the H1N1 vaccine.” To help spread the word, NCL’s Executive Director Sally Greenberg recently sat down with Dr. Annelise Swigert, M.D., a practicing Ob/Gyn and Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,for a digital Q&A about the H1N1 virus and vaccine for expectant mothers. “Our message to expectant moms is: Do what is best for you and your baby and get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Greenberg. “Perhaps more than any other group, pregnant women are desperate for practical and trustworthy information on how to protect themselves and their babies from what can be a devastating illness in high-risk populations.” To read Sally Greenberg’s full conversation with Dr. Swigert, visit www.nclnet.org.