August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of pediatric health care providers to protect patients against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.
This year, NIAM serves as an important reminder to catch up on routine visits and vaccinations that may have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During NIAM, 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 providers are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.
Use NIAM as an opportunity to access CDC 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.
CME Activities & Other Resources
CDC has developed CME activities to help healthcare providers 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 icon
For information on how to talk to parents about COVID-19 vaccination for children, 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 provider 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.