Key Strategies for Making Vaccine Recommendations

Why it matters

Many patients are looking for reassurance from their provider that vaccines are safe and effective. A strong, clear recommendation is usually enough, but others may need more information. Listening to their concerns and answering their questions can help them feel confident in choosing to get a vaccine.

Practical strategies for successful conversations

Here are some strategies you can use during NIAM to remind your patients and parents to stay up to date on routine vaccinations:

  • Talk to your patients and parents about any missed vaccines and assess vaccination status at every visit.
  • Use plain language when addressing concerns about vaccine safety.
  • Practice the SHARE approach to help patients make informed decisions about vaccination.
  • Show your practice’s support of vaccination throughout the month by displaying NIAM graphics on your website and on social media.
For people who are pregnant:
  • Make sure your pregnant patients receive a flu shot each year, by the end of October. This timing helps to protect them before flu activity begins to increase.
  • State clearly that you would like patients to get vaccinated. For example, say “I recommend Tdap and flu vaccines for you and all of my pregnant patients, because I believe vaccination is the best way to help protect you and your baby against whooping cough and flu.”

Visit Vaccinating Pregnant Patients for more tips and strategies for recommending vaccinations to your patients who are pregnant.

For parents:
  • When recommending routine vaccinations, use an approach that assumes most parents will choose to vaccinate their children. For example, say “Your child needs these vaccines today,” instead of “What do you want to do about vaccination today?”
  • When recommending the HPV vaccine for adolescents, it’s important to recommend the vaccine thesame wayandsame day that you recommend other vaccines.
  • It may be helpful to educate parents on the safety systems that the United States has in place to monitor vaccine safety. Share resources with parents to reinforce the information you provide about the safety of vaccines.

Visit Talking to Parents about Vaccines for more resources to help you start or continue conversations about vaccines with parents.

For adults:
  • Adult vaccination rates in the United States are low, and most adults are not aware that they need vaccines. Your recommendation can make a difference.
  • Adults with certain health conditions like diabetes or heart disease are at greater risk for severe complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Encourage your adult patients to stay up to date on their vaccines to reduce their risk of complications.
  • Even if your practice doesn’t administer vaccines or stock certain vaccines, make a strong recommendation and refer patients to other vaccination providers. Follow up to ensure vaccination.
  • If patients decline vaccination, revisit vaccines at the next appointment.

For more talking points to help you when recommending vaccines to your adults patients, visit 5 Reasons It Is Important for Adults to Get Vaccinated.