Key Messages to Help Healthcare Providers Make Strong Vaccine Recommendations
Use key messages to encourage and ensure that your patients are up to date on vaccinations. Use these messages or adapt them to fit your audience.
Use the collapsible menu to find key messages tailored for vaccination at different stages of life.
You may administer COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines (including live, attenuated vaccines such as the measles-mumps-rubella [MMR] vaccine) on the same day, as well as coadministration at any time interval. Learn more about coadministration with other vaccines.
Ensure your patients are up to date on routine vaccines.
- Talk to your prenatal patients about missed vaccines and assess vaccination status at every prenatal visit.
- Administer a Tdap vaccine during the 27th through 36th week of each pregnancy, preferably later during that time period. Getting Tdap while pregnant provides the best protection against pertussis for people who are pregnant. Their babies also get protection in the first few months of life, before they are old enough to receive DTaP vaccine.
- 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. Vaccinating earlier (soon after influenza vaccine becomes available for the season) can be considered for pregnant people in their third trimester, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life when they are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
- Be a champion for vaccination in your practice by ensuring all staff share a consistent message with patients about the importance of vaccination during pregnancy.
- Talk to parents about missed vaccines and ask the child’s vaccination status at every visit.
- The immunization schedule is carefully designed to provide protection early, before children are exposed to potentially serious diseases. By ensuring your patients are vaccinated, you’ll be protecting them from 16 serious diseases.
- Be a champion for vaccination in your practice by ensuring all staff share a consistent message with parents about the importance of childhood vaccines.
- Talk to your adult patients about missed vaccines and ask their vaccination status at every visit.
- It is very important that patients with certain health conditions are up to date on their vaccinations since they are at increased risk for complications from certain diseases.
- Be a champion for vaccination in your practice by ensuring all staff share a consistent message with adult patients about the importance of vaccines for their health.
You have the power to protect against certain diseases.
- You have the power to protect your patients and their babies from serious diseases like pertussis and seasonal flu.
- Your recommendations make a difference to your patients. You are their most trusted source of health information during pregnancy.
- 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.”
- Your recommendation is the number one reason parents choose to vaccinate their children on time.
- When recommending routine vaccinations, use a presumptive 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 the same way and same day that you recommend other vaccines.
- You have the power to protect your patients against serious diseases like shingles, pneumococcal disease, and seasonal flu.
- Your recommendation can make a difference. Healthcare providers are the most valued and trusted source of health information for adults.
- 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.
Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious diseases.
- For many patients, a strong, clear recommendation is enough to accept recommended vaccines. Others may need more information. Use the SHARE approach to help patients make informed decisions about vaccination during pregnancy.
- Many patients are looking for reassurance from you that vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy. For patients who have concerns about vaccine safety, use plain language to address their concerns.
- For patients who are concerned about taking certain medical products while pregnant, it may be helpful to explain that vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defense to help safely develop immunity to disease.
- While most parents will vaccinate their children when you make the recommendation, some parents may look to you for reassurance that vaccines are safe and effective. Taking the time to listen and understand parents’ concerns can help build trust.
- It may be helpful to educate parents about the safety systems that the United States has in place to monitor vaccine safety before and after they are licensed. Share these resources with parents to reinforce the information you provide about the safety of vaccines.
- For many patients, a strong, clear recommendation is enough for them to accept recommended vaccines. Others may need more information. Use the SHARE approach to help patients make informed decisions about vaccinations.
- Many patients are looking for reassurance from you that vaccines are safe and effective. Know the benefits and side effects of all vaccines your practice administers so you’re prepared to talk with your patients before recommending and administering the vaccine.
- If patients decline vaccination, revisit vaccines at the next appointment.
Diseases that are preventable by a vaccine are still a threat. Vaccination is the best protection.
- Changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make a pregnant person more likely to get seriously ill from influenza (flu).
- Pertussis and flu are both common in this country, but only 1 in 3 people who are pregnant in the United States receive both flu and Tdap vaccines.
- During the first few months of life, infants are at greatest risk of contracting pertussis and having severe, potentially life-threatening complications. Tdap vaccination during pregnancy helps protect infants until they can get their own vaccines.
- Babies younger than 6 months are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, but are too young to be vaccinated themselves. Getting a flu shot during pregnancy helps protect the pregnant person and can also help to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated.
- While many serious diseases are no longer common in the United States, these diseases still exist and can spread when children aren’t vaccinated, such as what happened during the 2019 measles outbreaks. We still see many cases of pertussis. Since 2010, between 15,000 and 50,000 cases of pertussis have been reported each year in the United States.
- Every year, over 35,000 men and women are diagnosed with a cancer caused by HPV. HPV vaccination could prevent most of these cancers from developing.
- CDC estimates that from 2010-2018, flu-related hospitalizations each year among children younger than 5 years old have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the United States.
- Every year, thousands of adults in the United States become seriously ill and are hospitalized because of diseases vaccines can help prevent. Many adults even die from these diseases.
- Adult vaccination rates in the United States are low, and most adults are not aware that they need vaccines.
- Adults with certain health conditions like diabetes or heart disease are at greater risk for severe complications from certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Some vaccine-preventable diseases, like flu, can make glucose control more difficult for people with diabetes or increase the risk of another heart attack for those with heart disease.