In honor of August’s dedication as National Immunization Awareness Month, Modern Medicaid Alliance partners are using the opportunity to communicate about the importance of keeping up with immunizations – especially throughout the pandemic. The value of routine immunization is well documented, with vaccines saving an estimated 2-3 million lives each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Immunization Awareness Month is an observance held every August to highlight the importance of vaccination for newborns to Americans 65+. This reminder is especially critical this year, as public health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have reported that immunizations have declined in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Alliance recognizes the tremendous role vaccination plays in people’s lives – when received according to the CDC schedule, immunizations protect against a resurgence of preventable diseases as well as their impact on health care facilities already stressed by the coronavirus crisis.
Alliance partners are disseminating important resources about immunization throughout the month of August:
- Alliance for Aging Research offers the following content as part of the Our Best Shot Campaign:
- Quick Guide Take-Home brochure—includes the vaccine schedule for older adults and information on vaccine-preventable diseases
- Wellness Wisdom fact sheet—acts as a guide to the preventive services of Medicare including vaccine coverage
- The Truth About Vaccines—addresses and debunks some of the common myths and misconceptions that lead to vaccine hesitancy
- The Alliance for Aging Research is also producing a PSA on the importance of getting the COVID vaccine when it’s available, as well as getting all routine vaccinations. The PSA will run on TV, be promoted digitally, and will be shared widely with health stakeholders.
- Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) issued an article on the importance of immunizations to reduce preventable disease and the timely connection to more inclusive and diverse researchers and participants in COVID-19 vaccine research and clinical trials. The article will be released to media, BWHI stakeholders and partners, and elevated through the Imperative’s social media channels.
- The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) released a statement on immunizations during the COVID-19 outbreak, and also facilitated a Facebook Live discussion around the importance of immunizations during the pandemic. NAPNAP also offers resources to help educate providers about meningococcal disease and HPV.
- The National Association of School Nurses houses immunization-focused position statements, toolkits and other resources at this link on their website.
- American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) offers a variety of immunization general and disease-specific multimedia resources from AANP and federal agency partners on their website.
- Zero to Three is featuring social content about National Immunization Awareness Month and the importance of vaccination, as well as Modern Medicaid Alliance vaccination-focused content, through their social media channels.
Vaccines save lives. As some experts predict there may be another wave of COVID-19 cases in the fall and winter, converging with the upcoming flu season, the Modern Medicaid Alliance encourages Americans to contact their primary care provider about safely receiving necessary immunizations like the influenza vaccine amid the COVID-19 crisis.