Engaging Partners in Social and Digital Activities during NIIW

NIIW logo

Since its inception in 1994, National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) has grown to be an important week-long observance aimed at increasing the awareness of childhood immunizations. A large part of NIIW’s success is attributed to our partners and volunteer social ambassadors, who participate in a variety of activities throughout the course of NIIW. During NIIW 2016, these activities included the CDC sponsored #VaxQA Twitter chat and the NIIW blog relay.

#VaxQA Twitter Chat

During the hour-long #VaxQA Twitter chat, CDC experts were joined by Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, AAP pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, to answer parent’s questions around childhood vaccinations. The chat also featured a roundtable of moms (@mommytalkshow, @TheCubicleChick, and @TheSoccer_Mom) who contributed their own experiences to the conversation. You can view a recap of the #VaxQA conversation on the CDC Storify page.

NIIW Blog Relay

CDC also partnered with six organizations to raise awareness about the continued importance of childhood immunizations in our NIIW blog relay. Each day of the relay, a different partner posted on their blog, topics ranging from the positive benefits of vaccinations to how parents can keep their child’s immunizations up to date. You can find links to each blog below.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an organization of 64,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Rhea Boyd, MD, FAAPS, who serves as an Executive Board Member of the Academy’s Council on Communications and the Media, wrote “It Takes a Herd,” to kick off the NIIW blog relay. In her blog post, Dr. Boyd highlights the shared responsibility that parents have in protecting not only their children, but all children, from vaccine-preventable diseases by adhering to the recommended immunization schedule developed hand in hand by CDC and the affiliated Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Visit AAP Voices to read “It Takes a Herd” and more of the AAP’s posts.

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the largest national medical organizations, with 120,900 members in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam, as well as internationally.  The mission of the AAFP is to improve the health of patients, families, and communities by serving the needs of members with professionalism and creativity.

Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, MD, member of the AAFP Board of Directors, wrote “Seeing the Diseases Vaccines Prevent Illustrates Importance of Immunization.” In her blog post, Dr. Ramas shares her experience about her first medical mission trip to Haiti, and how her exposure to babies, infants, children, and young adults fighting vaccine-preventable diseases reinforced the importance that vaccines play in protecting children’s lives. Visit AAFP’s Leader Voice Blog to read “Seeing the Diseases Vaccine Prevent Illustrate Importance of Immunization” and more of the AAFP’s blogs.

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Voices for Vaccines (VFV)

Voices for Vaccines (VFV) is a parent-driven organization supported by scientists, doctors, and public health officials that provides parents clear, science-based information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as an opportunity to join the national discussion about the importance of on-time vaccination.

Linsey Rippey, an active member of VFV wrote “My Daughters’ Lives Depend on Community Immunity,” where she shares her heartfelt experience of watching her daughters fight through their heart diseases, and how important community immunity is for her family and others who are vulnerable to infectious diseases due to the inability to vaccinate. Visit VFV’s blog to read “My Daughters’ Lives Depend on Community Immunity” and learn about the importance of vaccinating your children to protect all children, especially those highly susceptible to communicable diseases.

Every Child by Two (ECBT)

Every Child by Two is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases among families and individuals.

Christine Vara, Lead Contributor at Shot of Prevention, a community blog where individuals, parents, medical professionals and others can gather to discuss current events regarding immunizations, wrote “Preventing Childhood Diseases Requires a Community Commitment,”. In her blog post, Ms. Vara emphasizes the importance of immunizations, and their ability to have a protective effect in a whole community if parents collectively vaccinate their children. Visit ECBT’s blog, Shot of Prevention, to learn more about the responsibility that parents share when it comes to protecting their children through immunization and more of ECBT’s posts.

March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that works to end premature birth and other problems that threaten babies.

During NIIW, March of Dimes shared the blog post, “Making vaccines easier for your child,” which offers tips and suggestion to mothers on how they can make the time before, during and after vaccine-visit as smooth and easy as possible. Visit March of Dimes’ blog, News Moms Need, to read “Making vaccines easier for your child” and other helpful posts for mothers about parenting.

What to Expect

What to Expect, founded by Heidi Murkoff, is your go-to resource for preconception, pregnancy, and parenting advice. Bred out of Mrs. Murkoff’s book, “What to Expect, When You’re Expecting”, What to Expect is a valuable online resource for parents and parents-to-be to educate themselves about everything from preconception to toddlerhood.

Diane Davis Otter, editor-in-chief of What to Expect and mother of three, wrote “5 Tips for Sticking to the Immunization Schedule,” which offers tips for mothers on how they can keep track of their child’s immunizations and continue protecting him or her from 14 serious diseases. Visit What to Expect’s website to read “5 Tips for Sticking to the Immunization Schedule,” and learn how mothers can keep their children protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

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