AIM/NFID Webinar: Communications During a Pandemic – From 1918 to Present Times

AIM partnered with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) for an engaging online discussion on pandemic communications. NFID Medical Director William Schaffner, MD, moderated the webinar. The discussion featured Paul A. Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Tim Stephens, author of One Day at a Time: Newspapers and the Great Influenza of 1918. The discussion explored the similarities and differences between the influenza pandemic of 1918 and the current COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Role of the media, then and now
  • Impact of war and partisanship
  • Social factors including the cost and availability of food, immigration, military conscription, and racial violence
  • Role of philanthropy and nonprofits and the responsibility of government
  • The Cutter incident regarding polio vaccines and its impact on vaccine safety systems and vaccine production
  • Implications for future outbreaks and pandemic preparedness
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