In addition to being National Public Health Week, this year, April 4-8th is the first annual National Adolescent Immunization Action Week (#AIAW22). Unity Consortium launched this initiative to bring attention to the importance of adolescent immunization and to urge health care providers and parents to get adolescents up to date on recommended vaccines. To promote this week among local health departments, NACCHO hosted a webinar with Unity to highlight their tools and resources and to share the experiences of Pima County, Arizona’s Health Department and their work to improve youth engagement and vaccine uptake among young people throughout their COVID vaccine rollout.
During AIAW, Unity will be sharing information and resources across their communications channels and hope that you will too. Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted and influential source of vaccine information for parents. To support local efforts, Unity has developed a Healthcare Provider Toolkit designed to help immunization partners amplify the AIAW message to parents, adolescents and young adults.
We invite you to visit Unity’s AIAW campaign page for social media-ready materials and graphics you can use to communicate and draw attention to the importance of taking action now to improve adolescent immunization coverage.
Here are action ideas for AIAW to remind, recall, and schedule immunizations:
- Use electronic health records to identify patients with missed immunizations and contact them to schedule appointments
- Communicate with families about missed well visits and staying up to date on vaccines
- Make vaccination scheduling convenient for parents, e.g. offer vaccination clinics during school vacations/spring break
- Check vaccination status during all adolescent visits to avoid missed opportunities
- Make confident, presumptive vaccine recommendations, and share credible sources on vaccine safety and efficacy
- Share the #AIAW22 call to action with local organizations (health departments, schools, etc.), so they too can spread the word
Together we can help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on adolescent immunization rates and help to prevent future outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.