Social Justice and Pandemic Influenza Planning: The Role of Communication Strategies

Connal Lee*, Wendy A. Rogers, Annette Braunack-Mayer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper analyses the role of communication strategies in pandemic influenza ( PI) planning. Our central concern is with the extent to which nations are using communication to address issues of social justice. Issues associated with disadvantage and vulnerability to infection in the event of an influenza pandemic raise distinct questions about how well less well off groups will be protected. The potential for a public health emergency of this type to exacerbate existing inequalities, making those in less well off positions worse off, makes social justice an important consideration for pandemic planners. National PI plans offer insights into the ways that nations may use communication to address issues of disadvantage, thereby providing a way of examining how communication strategies are presented and their potential to mitigate inequities. Our research reviewed 12 national PI plans and assessed the extent to which nations are using communication to assist and limit possible harms to less well off groups. We outline in this paper some important issues and considerations associated with social justice and flu planning, in particular if and how plans are addressing inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press. Available online at

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