August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)! NIAM is an annual observance to highlight the value of immunization across the lifespan, and we need your help to promote it. You are key to raising awareness among parents about the importance of vaccination, and NIAM is another great opportunity for you to talk to families about the benefits of immunization.
The National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) is sponsoring NIAM in 2015. NPHIC, in collaboration with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), has developed communication toolkits to help promote vaccinations (https://www.nphic.org/niam). As part of these toolkits, you will find sample key messages, ready-to-publish articles, sample news releases, sample social media messages, FAQs, and web links among other resources. You can also get eye-catching NIAM logos and banners for each weekly theme to highlight your participation in NIAM and spruce up you social media profiles.
To aid you in targeting your messages more effectively, each toolkit focuses on a different stage of the lifespan:
- Preteens and teens (August 2-8)
- Pregnant women (August 9-15)
- Adults (August 16-22)
- Infants and children (August 23-29)
There is also be an abbreviated “Ready for school” toolkit to help you communicate about the importance of vaccines for children of all ages before NIAM starts. Whether a parent is getting ready to send their children to childcare for the first time; back to elementary, middle, or high school; or off to college, vaccines are crucial to protecting their children’s health.
In addition, here are some actions you can take to help promote vaccination among people of all ages throughout the month:
- Update your materials with the latest information and sample key messages that are provided in the toolkit.
- Place ready-to-publish articles in newsletters, on your website, or in local news outlets. The ready-to-publish articles provided in the toolkit assist in: educating and motivating consumers to talk to their healthcare professional and get vaccinated; 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.
- Place NIAM logos and banners on your website and/or social media platforms to highlight your participation in NIAM.
- We also encourage you to use social media throughout the month to show your engagement with NIAM activities. This year’s official hashtag is #NIAM15. We will also be using #TeamVax throughout the month to show how individuals, communities, partner organizations, and healthcare professionals together support vaccination.
- Share your plans for NIAM by completing this online form and see what other organizations have planned for NIAM to help you plan your activities.
Feel free to reach out to NPHIC or CDC with any questions or to share your plans and activities for NIAM. You can email Brad Christensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ian Branam at email@example.com or visit NPHIC’s NIAM Website for more information.