August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. This observance serves as an important reminder to catch up on routine visits and vaccinations that may have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attend our Immunizations Roundtable on August 16 (3:00 – 4:00 pm CT) to learn about immunization efforts and activity in the Dakotas. Our panel of experts will discuss vaccination rates, vaccine hesitancy, misinformation, social media and how to have constructive conversations. The panel will also discuss vaccine storage and how to become a vaccine provider and they will review utilization of Immunization Information Systems (IIS). Register here.

As a healthcare community, we need to remind 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.

NIAM Toolkits:

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.

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.

Needle imageMoving Needles is a 5-year cooperative agreement between AMDA and the CDC. Campaign leaders will make routine adult immunization a standard of care for post-acute and long-term care residents and an expectation for staff. Working with pilot sites from nursing homes, assisted living, and home and community based services, participants will test strategies using a quality improvement intervention to improve immunization rates.

We will discuss the Moving Needles Campaign during our Thursday BOOST Session with nursing homes. All nursing home team members are welcome to join.