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KAFP Instant News
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2017

How to turn NIIW into a celebration for your entire practice


National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is just around the corner. From April 22-29, 2017, communities across the United States will highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities. Since 1994, NIIW has been a way to focus attention on the benefits of maintaining high immunization rates in the community, state, and nationally.

Healthcare professionals like you are an important reasons why we can celebrate high infant immunization rates in this country. According to a national poll conducted by CDC in 2014, a doctor’s recommendation was the #1 reason that parents made sure their child got all of the recommended vaccines.

NIIW is a great opportunity for the entire practice—including physicians, nurses, and receptionists—to show parents that your practice strongly supports vaccination according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule. It’s also a good chance to let parents know that on-time vaccination is the norm, despite what they might hear in the media. According to CDC’s national poll, most parents (86%) said that their youngest child received all of the recommended vaccines at the time they were recommended. This is important information for the parents who may think delaying or refusing vaccines is common practice.

Here are some ideas for ways that your practice can celebrate NIIW this year:

·         “Launch” NIIW by bringing in breakfast or lunch for your staff. Bring copies of CDC’s “Talking with Parents about Vaccines for Infants[4 pages].” Use this opportunity to discuss ways that your entire practice can promote NIIW to parents. Decorate your waiting room with balloons, streamers, CDC posters, an NIIW banner, and coloring sheets.

·         Promote NIIW on Facebook or Twitter.  CDC has sample tweets and Facebook posts you can use during NIIW and throughout the year.

·         Run an article in your practice’s newsletter or on your website.

·         Play CDC videos in your waiting room or link to them on your website:

·         Print fact sheets on vaccine safety and vaccine-preventable diseases and display them in your waiting room or exam rooms:

·         Encourage your nurses and receptionists to review any resources that you have displayed.

·         Take out an ad in your local newspaper reminding parents to ensure that their children’s vaccines are up to date.

By making NIIW an event for your entire practice, you can raise awareness about the importance of immunization for protecting children in your community and be a strong voice in support of CDC’s recommended immunization schedule.