August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of health care providers to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.
NIAM is a good time to ensure your patients are up-to-date on recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.
Don’t forget about 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.
CDC has also developed Medscape CME activities to help healthcare professionals have successful conversations with parents about vaccines. Access these CME activities at the links below:
- Making the Case: Championing for HPV Cancer Prevention in Your Practice: https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/898084
- Pediatric Immunization: Navigating Difficult Conversations with Parents: https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/907254
The Public Health Foundation and CDC have developed a digital communication toolkit with messages and graphics tailored to your role as a healthcare professional and 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 WCAAP, CDC and other healthcare professionals on social media by using #ivax2protect in your posts.
Editor’s Note: This November 2017 WCAAP Developments article by Dr. Beth Harvey describes the approach her clinic took to improve their influenza vaccination rates. You may find the strategies and tips Dr. Harvey recommends helpful.