August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance highlighting the importance of vaccinations in people of all ages.
The immunization schedule outlined by Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been shown to be the most effective and safest way to protect children from potentially fatal diseases.
Nevertheless, many families lack knowledge about vaccines, especially due to the rise of misinformation on the internet.
The following is a collection of useful immunization resources—both for providers and for the families they serve—intended to encourage families to vaccinate and to quell worries brought on by vaccine myths.
General immunization references
Providers can direct families to these resources about the safety of and necessity for immunization in general.
Vaccines at a glance
This choc.org page that lays out the importance of vaccines, defines herd immunity and debunks common myths in a simple, reader-friendly way.
American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 Immunization Schedule
The CDC and AAP agreed-upon recommendations for immunizations for ages 18 and under, this resource clearly outlines timing of vaccines based by age, appropriate intervals for vaccine catch-up and special situations.
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, understand the risks and responsibilities
If parents decline recommended vaccines for their child, it is important to inform them that the decision creates major risks not only to their own child, but to every unvaccinated person they meet. This handout clearly defines the responsibilities that comes with this choice.
Condition-specific vaccine information to give to families
Diseases and vaccines that prevent them-for parents of infants and young children
This list breaks down vaccines by the conditions they prevent, including English and Spanish versions.
What vaccines does my teen need?
Vaccines aren’t just important for babies. Teens need to be vaccinated too! Parents should be aware of vaccines that will benefit their adolescents.
The HPV vaccine: a pediatrician’s perspective
With all the talk of infant vaccinations, it’s easy to forget that some immunizations occur later in adolescence. This Kids Health blog outlines the important vaccines for teens, including meningococcus (MCV), human papillomavirus (HPV), tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and others.
What parents should know about measles
Once labeled dormant in the US, measles are on the rise worldwide—most recently marked by a historically high number of cases in 2019. This Kids Health blog gives a thorough look at measles and the accompanying vaccine.
Vaccine talking points and tips for providers
American Academy of Pediatrics tips for talking to vaccine-hesitant parents
A resource for providers outlining best ways to approach parents who are hesitant to vaccinate—includes mythbusting, suggested approaches and strategies and a breakdown of types of parental attitudes toward immunizing.
Talking with parents about vaccines for infants
A guide to speaking with parents about vaccines, including common parental concerns and questions, communication strategies and suggested responses.
Presentation: 10 ways to create a culture of immunization within a pediatric practice
This CDC slide deck outlines ways hospitals can integrate accepted vaccine practices and incorporate all staff in the adoption of immunization culture.