Our Best Shot: The Importance of Vaccines for Older Adults
While most of us have had the flu or know someone who has had it, we often don’t realize how serious it can be. Each year in the United States, flu infections result in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths from related complications. Older adults are at the highest risk of complications from the flu because of declining immune systems and higher rates of chronic diseases that complicate outcomes. However, the flu can be prevented and vaccination is one of our best defenses against infection. This short film shares more about the flu and the importance of vaccination.
Learn more about getting flu information to your audiences at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Flu Shot Outreach and Uptake website.
OUR BEST SHOT CAMPAIGN
Adult vaccination rates in the U.S. continue to be dangerously low, falling far short of national targets, despite the devastating effects vaccine-preventable diseases can have on older adults. The Our Best Shot campaign grew out of recommendations highlighted in the Our Best Shot: Expanding Prevention through Vaccination whitepaper. The campaign aims to increase understanding of the importance of vaccination, dismiss common misinformation and disinformation, and arm older adults with the facts about vaccines.
Additional campaign resources include:
Fact Sheet on The Truth About Vaccines
This fact sheet provides an overview on how vaccines work, explains the benefits of vaccination, gives tips on spotting misinformation and disinformation, and debunks some of the most common myths regarding childhood and adult vaccination including a new section on COVID-19 vaccines.
Educational Film on Vaccines
This short animated film gives an overview of how vaccines work, highlights the importance of vaccination, debunks common myths and misconceptions, addresses the need for vaccination later in life, encourages communication with health care professionals, and reminds older adults of their influential role in increasing the immunity of their families and social circles.
The tools and educational materials in the workshop kit are designed for community leaders hosting workshops for seniors and their caregivers on the basics of vaccination. The “soup-to-nuts” kit covers how vaccines work, common vaccine-preventable diseases, vaccine safety and efficacy, the vaccine schedule for adults 60-64 and 65+, and where and how to get vaccinated. Materials in the kit include:
- Truth About Vaccines Factsheet: Addresses much of the misinformation about adult and childhood vaccinations.
- Wellness Wisdom Factsheet: Gives an overview of preventive services available through Medicare–including the Annual Wellness visit, the Welcome to Medicare visit, and recommended vaccines.
- Quick Guide to Vaccination Brochure: Looks at the potential symptoms and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases, the vaccine schedule for ages 60-64 and 65+, and a vaccine-tracker. Also available in Spanish.
- Pocket Film: Covers how vaccines work, why they’re important for all ages, where to get them, and more. Also available in Spanish, as a 60-second PSA, as a 30-second PSA, and with closed captions.
- Leader’s Guide: Gives tips and instructions on promoting and conducting a workshop, an agenda, a suggested script, and more.
- Promotional Poster: Designed to be used to promote upcoming educational workshops.
- Participant Quiz and Answers: Emphasizes points in the script and helps keep participants engaged.
- Slide Presentation: Gives visuals that emphasize the workshop script.
- Evaluation Form: Collects feedback from participants.
- On-line Survey: Collects feedback from workshop leaders.
Watch the presentation from the workshop kit launch, where two leaders from Area Agencies on Aging talk about their experience piloting the workshop kit, and share their tips on best practices.
All of the materials are free and we encourage you to download them, save them to your computer, print out copies, and get started on hosting this important workshop! For questions, e-mail Lindsay Clarke at [email protected].
You can also learn more about vaccines by reading the script from our September 2016 #OurBestShot Twitter Chat.