Resources to Support Patient Vaccination

Key Vaccination Messages and Tools from CDC

  1. The optimal time to immunize patients against the fall/winter respiratory viruses this holiday season is now, and we’re falling behind in some populations.  Why?
    • Viral respiratory season has arrived and is expected to worsen over the next several weeks in much of the country.  See how your state is doing here.
    • Rates of vaccination for some populations are lagging behind where we’ve been in years past. Rates of vaccination for the updated COVID-19 vaccine are <15% for people under 65 years.
  2. Here’s the latest on what we know about why some people aren’t up to date on their vaccines, what we can do to protect them, and some new tools based on what we’ve heard providers are asking for.
What patients are saying . . .What providers can do . . .Tools for providers
“I didn’t know it was recommended for me”Make a strong recommendation, like “You are due for your flu and COVID-19 vaccines today. I’ve gotten these vaccines myself and recommend them for you too.”Conversation Guide
“It’s not top of mind/I keep forgetting”Send a message to your patients now via your patient portal or text message to remind them about the importance of getting vaccinated nowScript for Patient Portal
“I’m worried about vaccine safety”Give your patients accurate and up-to-date information about vaccine benefits and safetyConversation Guide
“I don’t want to get the vaccine”Use motivational interviewing, starting with questions like “I hear you. If it’s okay with you, I would like to spend a few minutes talking more about fall and winter respiratory vaccines.”Conversation Guide
“I’m worried about getting all three vaccines at once”Discuss the facts on coadministration and the most important thing—getting all recommended vaccinesWhat to Know About Getting Flu, COVID-19, and RSV Vaccines at the Same Time
“My child is healthy, so they don’t need the vaccines”Let families know that while children with some health conditions are at higher risk of getting very sick, over half of the children under age 2 hospitalized for COVID-19 and then admitted to the ICU were otherwise healthy.Conversation Guide

You can find other materials in our Preparing Your Patients for the Fall and Winter Virus Season healthcare provider toolkit.  For example, this Respiratory Diseases At-A-Glance includes key vaccine recommendations and links. 

3. For patients at risk of severe respiratory disease, vaccination is particularly urgent. Additional resources for these groups include the Viral Respiratory Pathogens Toolkit for Nursing Homes (

Healthcare providers are patients’ most trusted source of information for how to protect themselves and their loved ones against these respiratory viruses.  We appreciate your partnership in acting now before the next holiday gatherings.  

Other Resources

CDC Update and Listening Session. On October 31, 2023, CMSS hosted an informative update and listening session with CDC about preparing for the Fall and Winter virus season. The event featured Dr. Manisha (Mo) Patel, CMO, NCIRD, who shared CDC’s vaccine recommendations for 2023-2024 for Covid-19, Flu and RSV. Watch the full session here: