With all the talk of COVID-19 vaccines, it’s easy to forget that other vaccines are just as important for us, our families, and those we serve.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights efforts to protect people of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.

This year, NIAM serves as an important reminder to catch up on routine visits and vaccinations that may have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Immunization Awareness Month is a good time to schedule vaccination appointments to ensure we, our loved ones, and those we serve are up to date on annual exams and recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that healthcare providers are the most trusted source of vaccine information.

We can also use NIAM as an opportunity to access CDC educational resources like the #HowIRecommend Video Series, which offers simple and practical guidance for having successful vaccine conversations. These short videos demonstrate how to make effective vaccine recommendations, address common vaccine questions, and take a team-based approach to vaccination.

For those who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, we as healthcare providers play a critical role in helping vaccine recipients understand the importance of vaccination and that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Check out this toolkit on Talking to Recipients about COVID-19 Vaccination, where you will find resources to help you share clear and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns about what to expect when getting vaccinated.