August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of physicians to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. Throughout August, MCMS will share resources to support these efforts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including patients’ ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. Many patients had to postpone or cancel appointments and still may not have had the opportunity to catch back up on needed healthcare.
Please use NIAM as another opportunity to encourage your patients to schedule appointments to ensure they are up to date on annual exams and recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.
The CDC has educational resources like the #HowIRecommend Video Series, which offers simple and practical guidance for having successful vaccine conversations with parents and patients. These short videos demonstrate how to make effective vaccine recommendations, address common vaccine questions, and take a team-based approach to vaccination.
For those patients who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, you play a critical role in helping vaccine recipients understand the importance of vaccination and that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Check out this toolkit on Talking to Recipients about COVID-19 Vaccination, where you will find resources to help you share clear and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns about what to expect when getting vaccinated.
CDC has developed CME activities to help healthcare professionals have successful conversations with parents about vaccines. Access these CME activities at the links below:
- How Nurses and Medical Assistants Can Foster a Culture of Immunization in the Practice: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/vaccine-communication/foster-culture-of-immunization.html
- Pediatric Immunization: Navigating Difficult Conversations with Parents: https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/907254external iconexternal icon
For information on how to talk to parents about COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents, check out the Pediatric Healthcare Professionals COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkit. Even if you are not administering COVID-19 vaccines, you can help parents and guardians feel confident in choosing to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 by addressing their questions and assuring them of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Public Health Foundation and CDC have developed a digital communication toolkit with messages and graphics tailored to your role as a healthcare professional emphasizing the importance of vaccination for your patients. Show your practice’s support of vaccination throughout the month by using this content on your website and on social media. During NIAM and beyond, you can engage with CDC and other healthcare professionals on social media by using #ivax2protect in your posts.
Template Newsletter Content About NIAM for Medical Practices
Get back on track with routine vaccinations.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including your ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. During NIAM, we encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination.
We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Growing Up with Vaccines interactive guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy, throughout childhood, and into adulthood.
[OPTIONAL SECTION FOR PARENTS]
As your children head back to school this fall, it’s particularly important for you to work with your child’s doctor or nurse to make sure they get caught up on missed well-child visits and recommended vaccines.
Remember to take care of yourself too! Make sure to receive any vaccines you need to stay healthy. Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.
August is also a critical time for those who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccination, check out the following websites:
During NIAM, [YOUR ORGANIZATION NAME] will be sharing information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines. Help us spread the word! Follow the conversation on [INSERT SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES], and use #ivax2protect to share why you choose to vaccinate.