Starting August 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asks Americans to turn their attention towards the importance of vaccinations through National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Annually, August is the month for this important observance to coincide with millions of school age children returning to the halls of learning. In recent years, outbreaks of diseases previously thought to be eradicated have reinforced the need to keep our children and ourselves up to date on recommended vaccinations.
Throughout NIAM, there are different themes throughout the month to raise awareness and highlight that vaccinations are important for all ages and populations.
- July 31st – August 6th Babies and young children
- August 7th – 13th Pregnant women
- August 14th – 20th Adults
- August 21st – 27th Preteen and Teenagers
- July and August Back to School and Immunization Records
Another important aspect of NIAM is the involvement of nurses and other healthcare professionals in “setting the record straight” about the effectiveness of vaccines and dispelling the myths that are brought up by those who are opposed to immunizations. Below are a few facts about immunization published by the World Health Organization.
- Immunization prevents close to 3 million deaths every year with another 1.5 million avoidable deaths possible with better global coverage.
- Deadly Meningitis A infections have nearly been eradicated in Africa through national immunization programs.
- Death from Measles has been reduced by almost 80% globally through 2015 by accelerated immunization activities.
- Polio has nearly been eradicated worldwide through immunization.
- Scientific studies have determined that vaccinations are safe.
Other ways to participate in NIAM includes utilizing your social media accounts to spread awareness and remember to use #NIAM2017. For suggestions about ways to use social media to engage your followers, check out the NIAM toolkit found here. Within the toolkit, you will also find ready-to-use articles that can be sent to local media and news outlets. Share important links to resources covering a broad range of immunization topics and display posters, flyers, and fact sheets in the workplace.
Supplemental Health Care remains committed to promoting and increasing awareness of child vaccinations through our longstanding alliance with Vaccine Ambassadors. Through partnerships, such as the one with Supplemental Health Care, Vaccine Ambassadors is able to fund the purchase of quality vaccines at competitive rates to be distributed where they are needed the most by the Pan American and World Health Organization.
This year, join the effort to communicate the life-saving benefits of immunizations to those who may have doubts or concerns. As healthcare professionals, we are among the most-trusted professions and have the unique opportunity to talk facts with our patients. Because there are still more than 22 million children worldwide that go without basic immunization and now is the time to engage in the effort to reduce that number one child at a time.
We want to hear about your level of engagement for NIAM this year. Use the comment section below to share your plans or drop us a line on our Facebook page.