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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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including patients’ ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. Many patients had to postpone or cancel appointments and still may not have had the opportunity to catch back up on needed healthcare.

During NIAM, encourage your patients to schedule appointments to ensure they are up to date on annual exams and recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.

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.

2019 National Immunization Awareness Month imageVisit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your life. Also, check out the Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool for information on vaccine recommendations based on age, health conditions, job and other factors