August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), an annual observance that highlights the importance of vaccination in protecting public health. The 2021 theme is Get Back on Track with Routine Vaccines, which aligns with the NFID Keep Up The Rates campaign to raise awareness about staying up to date on all recommended vaccines across the lifespan.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, routine vaccinations have declined significantly across all populations in the US, with demand plummeting as much as 95 percent for some vaccines.
3 Reasons Why Life-Saving Vaccines Should No Longer Be Delayed:
- Vaccines help keep children healthy. Among US children born from 1994 to 2018, vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, 8 million hospitalizations, and 419 million illnesses.
- Vaccines are not just for children. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 50,000 US adults died each year from vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive. Diseases not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but also carry a high price tag for society as a whole, exceeding $10 billion per year. An average influenza (flu) illness can last up to 15 days, typically with 5 or 6 missed work or school days. Adults who get hepatitis A lose an average of one month of work.
7 Things You Can Do To Help Support Immunization:
Fortunately, we all have the power to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities against serious vaccine-preventable diseases like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia. During NIAM, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and all Keep Up The Rates campaign partners encourage you to talk to a healthcare professional to ensure that you and your family are up to date on all recommended vaccines. And if you happen to be a healthcare professional, NFID encourages you to ensure that your patients are up to date on all recommended vaccines (even if you don’t provide vaccines in your office or clinic). Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.
Throughout NIAM, NFID will be sharing information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines. Help us spread the word! Here are 7 easy things you can do:
- Take the NFID Myth Busters quiz to test your knowledge about vaccination and see how well you can tell vaccine facts from fiction
- Share these downloadable Keep Up The Rates infographics (in English and Spanish) for an at-a-glance overview of vaccines recommended for children, teens, adults, and adults age 65+
- Share the popular NFID 10 Reasons To Get Vaccinated social media graphics
- Join NFID for a complimentary webinar, #VaxxedForClass: The Importance of Routine Immunizations, on August 17, 2021 at 12:00-1:00 PM ET for timely data on immunization coverage and practical strategies to increase immunization rates among students heading back to school
- If your organization has not already done so, join Keep Up The Rates, an NFID-led campaign with 120+ partner organizations to encourage individuals of all ages to receive recommended vaccines that may have been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic
- As you and your family head back to school and work this fall, make sure that annual flu vaccination is at the top of your checklist
- Share your story if you or a loved one has been impacted by an infectious disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers NIAM toolkits for communicating with healthcare professionals and for communicating with parents/patients. Both toolkits provide a variety of key messages, clinical resources, and educational materials.
To join the conversation and get the latest news on infectious diseases, follow NFID on Twitter using the hashtags #KeepUpTheRates, #GetVaccinated, and/or #IVax2Protect, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, visit us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to receive future NFID Updates.
With flu activity on the rise and vaccination rates lagging across the US, NFID is reminding everyone age 6 months and older to get vaccinated against flu
The time to deal with vaccine misinformation is immediately. And the way to deal with it is through building connections and expressing empathy.