Be a vaccine advocate: Eight ways to stand up for vaccinations in your community
Every person can do their part for public health, a responsibility we share. Vaccination is one way to help bolster societal wellness as a personal decision that protects ourselves and others.
Vaccinations not only correlate with lower child mortality rates but are cited by the World Health Organization as “a key component of primary health care and an indisputable human right.” The rate of preventable disease, including fatal or life-altering illnesses, has steadily decreased through vaccination campaigns. Immunizations, including those given in childhood, help provide a lifetime of protection for better health.
Vaccinating on time and on schedule according to public health recommendations helps make the places we gather safe for all, including immunocompromised individuals and babies too young to be immunized. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the value of vaccination timely and relevant by illustrating how disease can impact families and interrupt services.
Freedom from disease is critical to our personal and collective wellbeing. Schools, churches, sporting events and other social settings where we come together as friends and neighbors are safest when families are vaccinated.
Being a vaccine advocate has never been more important. Here are eight ways to stand up for vaccines in your community:
Become a member of the Oklahoma Alliance for Healthy Families (OAHF): Find membership information here to stay informed, be notified of new public health plans and tools from the Alliance.
Share your story with us: Tell us why vaccination matters to your family by sharing your personal story.
Host a community forum: Partner with us to host a community forum, speak at your next Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meeting or present for local organizations to dispel myths and share science-based facts about the importance of immunizations.
Share your opinion with local media: Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and submit opinion statements to local TV and radio stations.
Encourage others to vaccinate their children: Set the example by vaccinating yours and checking in with friends who have same-age children to ask about their most recent well child visit. Discuss fears and concerns. Encourage hesitant parents to talk with their doctor, a trained expert.
Help others get vaccinated: People who are elderly may not have received age-appropriate boosters for diseases like tetanus, pertussis and others. Additional vaccines such as the shingles and pneumonia immunizations are recommended for patients after age 50. Check in with your loved ones about getting vaccinated and help them schedule by phone or online. Note: The new COVID-19 vaccine is also available for certain individuals depending on age and risk factors but older people may need help with a website, app or other way to get on the schedule. Check with the Oklahoma State Department of Health for the latest news on vaccination during the current pandemic.
Remember #NoVaxNoVisit: If you are pregnant or plan to have a baby soon, remember that your newborn relatives and caregivers who will be in close contact should be vaccinated against flu and pertussis before meeting your baby. The #NoVaxNoVisit hashtag can make that announcement easier, along with a reminder conversation.
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