This August, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) is recognizing National Immunization Awareness Month and encouraging you to get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination rates for preventable diseases like pnemococcal pneumonia, flu, and hepatitis B have declined, putting communities at an increased risk. Minority communities and underserved populations are in particular disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines like those that protect against pnemococcal pneumonia, flu, and hepatitis B. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including access to care and coverage; the likelihood that providers recommend vaccinations; and concerns about vaccinations, including vaccine safety.
During National Immunization Awareness Month, CMS OMH is encouraging minority and underserved people to stay up-to-date on routine vaccines and get vaccinated. With the flu season getting closer and the country continuing to combat COVID-19, we’re calling on providers and communities to help us share resources that may help high-risk individuals learn about the benefits of vaccines and talk to their providers about necessary vaccinations.
Below are resources you can share with your community to help them learn more about the vaccinations that are available at no or low cost under most health coverage:
- Visit our Immunization and Vaccine Resources webpage to find resources that you can share with your community.
- Check out the COVID-19 Vaccine Resources webpage which compiles federal resources on the COVID-19 vaccine for healthcare professionals, partners, and patients.
- Review the below resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which you can use to promote the importance of vaccination:
- Share the latest Coverage to Care resources, including our prevention materials (available in English and Spanish), to help patients understand preventive services that may be available to them at no or low cost.
- Learn about Medicare coverage for vaccinations (like those for flu, hepatitis B, and pneumococcal pneumonia).
- Share our Hepatitis Disparities in Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries to help your patients learn more about how hepatitis disproportionately affects certain racial and ethnic groups.
- Review our Rural-Urban Disparities in Health Care in Medicare report, which describes rural-urban differences in health care experiences and clinical care, including vaccination rates.
- For resources on childhood vaccination, refer to:
- Resources for Encouraging Routine Childhood Vaccinations
- Help Kids’ Safe Return to School – Get Caught Up on Recommended Vaccines
- Catch Up on Well-Child Visits and Recommended Vaccinations
- Childhood Vaccination Toolkit for Clinicians
- Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents
- Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign