August commemorates National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is joining CDC and other partners to highlight the importance of routine vaccinations and catching up on routine healthcare appointments.
Though immunization rates have been relatively high and stable in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the uptake and maintenance of routine immunizations. Throughout the pandemic, individuals and families may have postponed medical visits and check-ups, including immunizations, and catching-up on routine healthcare is a priority.
Take Action to Improve Immunization Coverage at the Local Level
Local health departments (LHDs) are integral partners in the nation’s fight to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes continued COVID-19 vaccines, preparing for back-to-school, and reiterating the importance of maintaining routine healthcare. Your LHD can promote the importance of getting back on track with routine immunizations during NIAM! NIAM presents an excellent opportunity to remind communities about vaccine benefits and implement control measures to contain vaccine-preventable disease cases/outbreaks. In observance of NIAM, LHDs can communicate about COVID-19 and routine vaccines by adding NIAM materials and reminders to immunization and provider newsletters, implementing social media campaigns, adding NIAM information to the LHD website, and host or participate in an event to answer questions about vaccines, especially those needed for school entry.
Resources are available to help you encourage routinely recommended vaccines for a variety of audiences:
- Two NIAM toolkits to help communicate with healthcare professionals and patients and parents
- Sample newsletters to reach healthcare professionals and patients
- Educational resources for healthcare professionals and for parents and patients
- Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules
- Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool
In addition, for those who are eligible, resources to aid conversations and inform individuals about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination are available.
- Talking to Recipients about COVID-19 Vaccination
- Your COVID-19 Vaccination
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens
Encourage everyone to get caught up with routine vaccinations! On social media, use #ivax2protect to join the conversation and share content and resources promoting routine vaccination across the lifespan.
Immunization is the most frequent clinical service provided by LHDs and LHDs often serve as critical safety net providers for this essential public health service within their communities. In observance of NIAM, NACCHO would like to thank and applaud the many LHDs and their staff for their achievements in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and preparation for the upcoming back-to-school and influenza seasons.