Talk about Vaccines Early
Research shows that many parents are making vaccination decisions early — even before or during pregnancy. By talking about vaccines with parents well ahead of their child’s first vaccine appointment at 2 months, you play an important role in helping parents choose to protect their baby with the recommended immunization schedule. And, this may reduce the need for vaccine discussion at later appointments. Parents who start following the recommended schedule on time at 2 months tend to continue on schedule going forward.
Introduce the recommended immunization schedule at the 1-week appointment so parents can ask questions before the 2-month well-child visit, when vaccines are first given:
- Include parent-friendly immunization schedule and FAQ in welcome packets for parents of new patients.
- Discuss vaccines and answer questions at meetings with expectant parents.
- Hang vaccine-related information and resources in exam rooms so parents can get some initial questions answered before they meet with you.
Build on a Strong Foundation
Talking with parents during the prime decision-making period before the 2-month well-visit may be more effective and save you and your staff time. Healthcare professionals are parents’ most trusted source of information about vaccines. When you help parents feel comfortable following the recommended schedule at 2 months, you may shorten the length of discussions at the child’s subsequent vaccine appointments. Most parents who start vaccinating as recommended at 2 months will continue to vaccinate on schedule.
As you recommend vaccines, remember these key strategies to support parents in choosing to vaccinate according to CDC’s recommended schedule:
- Foster support for vaccination in your practice.
- Talk about vaccines early.
- Assume most parents will vaccinate.
- Listen to questions.
For more information on planning vaccine conversations with parents, visit Talking with Parents about Vaccines for Infants.