These are websites and apps to assuage fears and provide appropriate education to reluctant individuals.
In primary care and retail health, vaccines are a cornerstone of preventive care and promoting wellness. They are backed by research, help prevent the spread of disease, and are safe and effective. Vaccines work so well that they are second only behind clean water in reducing the burden of infectious disease.1Vaccines eradicated smallpox,2saving millions of lives, and have dramatically reduced the incidences of 14 diseases: chicken pox, diphtheria, the flu, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, rubella, and tetanus.3Between 1994 and 2013, vaccines prevented more than 21 million pediatric hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths.4
Although health care providers are aware of the many benefits of vaccinations and maintaining herd immunity, many patients are still wary of vaccinating their children or themselves. If patients need some convincing, consider the myriad benefits of vaccines1:
Despite the fact that vaccines are subjected to rigorous testing to ensure their safety, many patients still have concerns. One way to assuage their fears is by providing them with sufficient education. figures 1 and 2 show excellent vaccination resources.
Before administering vaccines to patients, make sure that they are appropriate candidates for the vaccine, have been properly informed, and have no contraindications. The CDC provides a vaccine information statement (VIS), and this should be given to patients prior to injection. These statements cover contraindications, how the vaccines work, risks, what do to in case of an adverse reaction, and why patients should get vaccinated.
Sara Hunt, MSN, RN, PHN, FNP-C,is a licensed and board-certified family nurse practitioner, a public health nurse, an adjunct assistant professor of health policy, and a doctor of nursing practice student at the University of California, San Francisco. She was the spring 2015 health policy fellow at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ Government Affairs Office in Washington, DC.