image from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius YouTube video announcing PSA contest

Finalists Chosen in HHS Flu Video Contest

The $2,500 cash prize is ready. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' expert panel has chosen 10 flu prevention public service announcement videos as finalists from among 240 entries. The winner gets that prize and will be broadcast on national TV.

The decision is up the American public, which is asked to cast votes through Sept. 16. "The response has been just amazing," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says in her own video at www.flu.gov where she announces the finalists. "There will only be one winner, and you'll decide," she says.

The most amusing finalist involves a chainsaw, while the simplest employs a voiceover and line drawings. The "toothbrush prank" finalist may be the most effective among the 10, while Dr. John D. Clarke's rap may be the best choie for getting young people's attention.

"Keep in mind as you watch the PSAs that we need to reach as many people as we can," the agency's news release states. "We are entering the fall flu season, and the 2009 H1N1 flu could impact all of us, so getting the message out on how we can best avoid the flu is critical. Think young and old; students and mothers; and those most vulnerable -– then tell us which video delivers the flu prevention message best."

Voting on YouTube began at 12:01 a.m. EDT Aug. 29 and continues until 11:59 p.m. EDT Sept. 16.

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