Healthcare professionals play a key role in educating our communities about the importance of vaccination.
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is right around the corner. NIAM month [August] provides the opportunity to raise awareness and encourage everyone to make sure they are current on the necessary vaccinations for potentially harmful diseases. As healthcare professionals, we need to remind individuals that many diseases can be easily prevented by administering vaccines, and thus, protecting them from unseen viruses. Who needs vaccinated and when? Access the 2020 Immunization Schedules [CDC]
The COVID-19 Impact
For the upcoming influenza season, influenza vaccination will be paramount to reduce the impact of respiratory illnesses in the population and resulting burdens on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communicating the importance of vaccination to patients and parents/caregivers as well as the safety protocols and procedures can help provide reassurance to those who may otherwise be hesitant to present for vaccination visits.
Efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19, such as stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, have led to decreased use of routine preventive medical services, including immunization services. Ensuring that routine vaccination is maintained or reinitiated during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks. To help ensure that patients continue to receive needed vaccines while safeguarding clinicians and staff, the CDC has issued new interim guidance for immunization services during the pandemic. Among specific topics covered are considerations for routine vaccination, advice regarding vaccination of people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, infection prevention practices, use of alternative vaccine administration sites and strategies for promoting catch-up immunizations.
The Immunizations Coalition Network has a list of guidance documents and resources to avoid decreases in immunization rates during COVID-19. These resources are intended for use by healthcare settings, state and local health departments, professional societies, immunization coalitions, advocacy groups, and communities to maintain immunization rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. The repository includes links to international, national and state-level policies and guidance and advocacy materials, including talking points, webinars, press releases, media articles, social media posts, as well as telehealth resources. This resource directory was developed by multiple organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), various state departments of health, national organizations and others. Access the Immunization Resource Repository
To help identify resources and to assist with messaging, be sure to access the National Immunization Awareness Toolkits. These toolkits can assist in devising a plan to promote the importance of immunizations with your staff, patients and family members.
- Toolkit for Communicating with Healthcare Professionals
- Toolkit for Communicating with Parents and Patients
The Great Plains QIN team will continue to share and promote resources, stories and learning opportunities throughout the month of August. Also, if you have not joined the Great Plains Quality Care Coalition, we encourage you to do so. Learn more and get signed up today. Better Together.