Free Resources Designed to Help Docs Communicate With Parents About Immunizations

Materials Result of Joint Effort by CDC, AAFP, AAP

March 11, 2010 04:35 pm News Staff

Parental concerns can make it difficult for family physicians to get their youngest patients immunized. Now, the CDC, in collaboration with the AAFP and the American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, has developed new materials to help physicians talk to parents about vaccinating their children.

The CDC has launched Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents( on its Web site, and the agency plans to send sample materials to about 40,000 AAFP members who care for children in their practices by the end of March.

Physicians also can sign up for e-mail updates as new resources are added to the Web page.

In a joint letter to be included in the mailings, the CDC, AAFP and AAP said the resources are intended to help providers

  • stay up-to-date on vaccine safety topics;
  • strengthen communication and trust between physicians and parents; and
  • share with parents up-to-date, easy-to-use information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases.

"This tool kit will be very useful to family physicians and their staff as they address parental concerns about the benefits and harms of immunizations," said Herbert Young, M.D., director of the Academy's Scientific Activities Division. "AAFP surveys of members show that 44 percent of them identify patient safety concerns as barriers to immunizations."

Materials in the mailing that also are available online include

  • "Talking with Parents about Vaccines for Infants," a four-page document that discusses how to address parental concerns about immunizations, including side effects, adverse events and autism;
  • "Understanding MMR Vaccine Safety," which covers the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and includes a question-and-answer piece, a brief summary of studies that have refuted any link between the vaccine and autism, and immunization recommendations;
  • "If You Choose Not to Vaccinate Your Child, Understand the Risks and Responsibilities," a two-page handout for parents that covers the risks of not vaccinating children and the steps parents should take to protect an unvaccinated child, family member and others;
  • "Measles," a two-page handout for parents that describes symptoms of the disease and the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Two other resources not included in the mailing to members but available on the CDC Web site are a downloadable video about childhood immunizations( and an immunization schedule tool(