August is National Immunization Awareness Month (#NIAM16). Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of NIAM is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. The California Immunization Coalition will be focusing on the following themes of protecting our families and our entire community across the lifespan.
- July/August: Ready for school? Check those vaccine records. (school-aged children) – check out our press release around meningitis for incoming college students.
- August 1-7: Vaccines are not just for kids (adults)
- August 8-14: Protect yourself and pass protection on to your baby (pregnant women)
- August 15-21: A healthy start begins with on-time vaccination (babies and young children)
- August 22-28: Ensure a healthy future with vaccines (preteens and teens)
- Vaccines protect against serious diseases.
- These diseases still exist and outbreaks do occur.
- Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives.
- Vaccines are very safe.
To download the NIAM toolkit and plan for (and share) your local events, go to www.nphic.org/NIAM
11 Things You Can Do During NIAM
The National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) released a communications toolkit along with a list of ideas, social media messages, template news releases, graphics and more to help you communicate about NIAM.
- Join the #VaxWithMe Thunderclap to amplify the message on social media. We will be following up with more details on the Thunderclap later this month. For more information on Thunderclap, visit https://www.thunderclap.it/faq.
- Update your materials with the latest information, FAQs, and sample key messages that are provided in the NIAM toolkits developed by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). To aid you in targeting your messages more effectively, each toolkit focuses on a different stage of the lifespan:
- Use social media throughout the month to show your engagement with NIAM activities. This year’s official hashtag is #NIAM16, and the NIAM toolkits include sample social media messages that you can use as is or tailor to your specific audience(s). CDC will also be using #VaxWithMe during NIAM to bring a personal, positive aspect to vaccine messages, and we encourage you to #VaxWithMe in your social media messages during NIAM and beyond.
- Place NIAM logos and banners on your website and/or social media platforms to highlight your participation in NIAM.
- Embed videos on your website and social media platforms. You can find videos to use during NIAM on the Immunization and Vaccines playlist on CDC’s YouTube channel.
- Get a jumpstart on your back-to-school messaging and activities before NIAM starts using the resources from the abbreviated toolkit for school-age children.
- Reach out to media in your community to generate news stories on NIAM and immunizations. One of the new resources available this year is a media outreach toolkit to assist you with placing media in your state or locality.
- 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. There are also sample news releases in the toolkits that you can tailor to your particular audience(s) to maximize their impact.
- Use your social media profiles and websites to:
- 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 (link forthcoming) 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 (link forthcoming) and make sure their children are up to date on all their vaccines.
- 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.
- 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. For more information on content syndication, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/syndicate.html.