Take Action! August is National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance to promote the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. To facilitate local support of this national awareness effort, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) developed a scalable list of ways to get involved in NIAM. The range of suggested activities ensures that any local health department, regardless of size or resource availability, can take action. Encouraged activities are listed below and the hyperlinks in each will take you directly to the resources that will help you get engaged:

  1. Join the #VaxWithMe Thunderclap to amplify the message on social media. Sign up here.
  2. Update your materials with the latest information, FAQs, and sample key messages that are provided in the NIAM toolkits. To aid you in targeting your messages more effectively, each toolkit focuses on a different stage of the lifespan:
  3. Use social media throughout the month to show your engagement with NIAM activities. This year’s official hashtag is #NIAM16, and the toolkits include sample social media messages. CDC will also be using #VaxWithMe to bring a personal, positive aspect to vaccine messages. Posts could:
    • encourage adults to take the adult vaccine quiz and discuss the results with their healthcare professional;
    • encourage pregnant women to take the maternal vaccine quiz and discuss the results with their OB/GYN or midwife;
    • encourage parents of young children to visit CDC’s mobile-friendly vaccines website for parents to answer their vaccine-related questions; and/or
    • encourage parents of preteens and teens to visit CDC’s “Put Vaccines on Your Back-To-School List” feature and make sure their children are up to date on all their vaccines.
  4. Download and distribute flyers, posters, and fact sheets in your communities. NPHIC’s website has links to immunization resources from several partner organizations. You can also find links to CDC resources on CDC’s NIAM page.
  5. Place NIAM logos and banners on your website and/or social media platforms to highlight your participation.
  6. Embed videos on your website and social media platforms.
  7. Get a jumpstart on your back-to-school messaging and activities using the resources from the abbreviated toolkit for school-age children.
  8. Reach out to media in your community to generate news stories on NIAM and immunizations. Sample news releases are available in the NIAM toolkits.
  9. Place ready-to-publish articles in newsletters, on your website, or in local news outlets. The ready-to-publish articles provided in the NIAM toolkits assist in: educating and motivating parents and consumers to talk to their healthcare professional about vaccines for themselves and their family; and encouraging healthcare professionals to strongly recommend vaccines patients need.
  10. Use content syndication to display the most current immunization schedules and adult vaccine quiz on your website. Whenever CDC makes a change, your page will automatically display the update.

By engaging in one or more of these activities, your local health department. If you plan to get involved in NIAM, complete this online form to share your activities and check out what other organizations have planned for more ideas.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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