August is the official month of observance for National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). With COVID-19 continuing to spike in many places throughout the United States, it is now more important than ever that we educate ourselves and spread awareness about the benefits of vaccinations, which is the exact intention behind NIAM.
Specifically, the three main goals for this campaign are:
- Improve national awareness for vaccinations, particularly for adults who may not have a complete immunization profile.
- Provide information on how to communicate about vaccinations within healthcare settings.
- Increase access to immunizations for underserved, lower income or rural populations.
According to the CDC, who now coordinates the month-long observance, National Immunization Awareness Week was founded by The National Public Health Coalition in August of 2013, to help educate families on the importance of vaccinations for their children – especially before going back to school, hence the reason that August was selected as the month for this specific cause. Learn more about why NIAM is important and what the future holds for vaccines.
How You Can Help
The best way to observe NIAM is to start by ensuring your family is fully up-to-date with all of their vaccinations. Beyond that, it is important to be as educated as possible when it comes to immunization since we are continuing to see cases of COVID-19 infections increase and are starting to see the effects of the Delta-variant. Click here to review resources provided by the CDC that include informational graphics as well as an interactive vaccination guide! You can also explore these articles regarding the three different types of the COVID vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson/Johnson.
The next step is to engage with your community to spread the word – from everyday conversations to using the hashtag #nationalimmunizationmonth and sharing content on social platforms to help break down the stigma that specifically surrounds the vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.
Although it is important to spread awareness, it is also important to remember that the pandemic we continue to face has been an unprecedented challenge for everyone in a multitude of devastating ways. Between the ever changing understanding of this virus and the disease it causes, on top of misinformation being spread through social media or other various media outlets, it is no surprise that we have seen so much confusion.
Just remember that change starts with you and your empathy to others through this time. Head over to the CDC’s website to learn more about the state of COVID-19 and explore what other precautions to take during this time.