• Immunization Resources for Media

    AAFP resources, policies, news and research to help journalists cover health topics related to immunizations.

    Hear from AAFP Leaders:

    Video interviews with AAFP president-elect, Dr. Steven P. Furr and AAFP board member, Dr. Jay Lee discussing the importance of immunization and the role family physicians play in administering vaccines and addressing vaccine hesitancy. 

    If you would like to set up additional media interviews, please contact Emily Holwick at eholwick@aafp.org

    For Media Inquiries, Contact

    Julie Hirschhorn
    Public Relations Manager

    Emily Holwick
    Public Relations Strategist

    Connect with us on social

    COVID-19 Vaccine updates
    AAFP’s latest information on COVID-19 vaccines, including clinical guidance and news updates.

    Immunization Schedules
    2023 recommended immunization schedules for children, adolescents and adults.

    Robert Graham Center: Uniting Public Health and Primary Care for Healthy Communities in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond
    A report from AAFP’s Robert Graham Center explores how the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to reunite and align the shared goals of public health and primary care.

    Robert Graham Center: Family Physicians play a crucial role in youth COVID-vaccination
    A recent report from the AAFP’s Robert Graham Center explores how family physicians are essential in making sure children receive the vaccines they need, especially in areas where they are the only clinicians. 

    Source: Robert Graham Center

    AAFP Announces 2023 Vaccine Science Fellows to Advance Public Health
    The AAFP’s Vaccine Science Fellowship program helps develop family physicians’ skills and knowledge surrounding vaccination and addresses connections between public health and family medicine. 

    AAFP Policies: Immunizations
    AAFP has longstanding policies regarding cost, access, distribution, coverage, payment and supply of vaccines. 

    AAFP Policy: Immunization Exemptions
    With the exception of policies which allow for exemption from required vaccination for a medical contraindication, the AAFP does not support other immunization exemption policies. 

    AAFP Approves Vaccination Recommendations for RSV, Influenza (7/23)
    The AAFP recently approved federal action that authorizes two vaccines to prevent severe complications of respiratory syncytial virus infection in older adults, as well as vaccination recommendations for the 2023-2024 influenza season.

    New Supplement Offers Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations (7/23)
    The AAFP has published updated guidance on COVID-19 vaccines in the July/August issue of FPM with the latest vaccine recommendations and tips on communicating the importance of vaccination to patients.

    AAFP Approves Simplified COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations  (4/23)
    Following an expedited review, the AAFP has officially approved actions by the FDA and CDC to streamline COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for infants, children and adults.

    Kindergarteners’ Vaccination Rates Continue to Decline  (1/23)
    A CDC report shows that for the second year in a row, national vaccination rates for some diseases fell by roughly 1% among kindergarteners, highlighting the crucial role of family physicians in educating patients.

    Many Parents Avoid Talking About Vaccines, Poll Finds  (12/22)
    The survey found that more than one in seven parents did not talk about vaccines with their child’s regular physician or health care professional in the past two years. 

    AAFP Encouraged by New RSV Vaccine Recommendations, Efforts to Protect Americans Against COVID-19, Flu, Mpox  (6/23)
    “The AAFP is optimistic that ACIP voted to approve recommendations for new RSV vaccines, which are intended for adults aged 60 and older, adding a critical frontline of defense for older adults who are at risk for severe disease caused by RSV.”

    Nation’s Health Care Organizations Urge COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccination and Treatment  (11/22)
    “We encourage our members to use every interaction with patients as an opportunity to make strong vaccine recommendations, educate and answer questions about prevention and treatment options, encourage vaccination, and where feasible provide vaccination.”

    Family physicians are well-equipped to speak to the importance of vaccination and immunizations at every age. See where we’ve been on the record:

    USA Today: Flu shots, other vaccines available, encouraged for older Americans (6/23)

    Healio Q&A: What PCPs need to know about the new RSV vaccines (6/23)

    McClatchy: COVID shots now on CDC routine vaccines list. What to know  (2/23)

    Fierce Healthcare: Study compares prior COVID infection protection to vaccines  (2/23)

    The Unbiased Science Podcast: Covid-19 vaccines (2/23)

    Medical Economics: Confronting the childhood vaccination decline  (2/23)

    The Hill Panel: Expanding Adult Vaccine Access (1/23)

    Patient Care Online: Declining Kindergarten Vaccination Rate Leaves 250k Children Unprotected: AAFP President's Perspective  (1/23)

    Fierce Healthcare: Providers jostle to lead way if FDA makes COVID vaccination a yearly jab (1/23)

    U.S. News: This Back-to-School Season, Don’t Forget Lifesaving Immunizations  (8/22)

    Medical Economics: Primary care physicians must listen, educate, vaccinate  (8/22)

    When to Get Your Covid Booster, Flu Vaccine or RSV Shot This Fall - WSJ (8/23)

    We must regain public trust in immunizations  (8/23)

    RSV Vaccines: What to Know For Babies, Pregnant Women and Older Adults (8/23)

    New vaccines this fall could weaken the respiratory virus season  (8/23)

    Older adults first in line for RSV vaccines, but will they roll up their sleeves?  (8/23)

    CDC recommends pricey RSV protection (8/23)

    CDC panel recommends drug that prevents RSV for babies  (8/23)

    Childhood vaccinations falter ahead of crucial fall season (8/23)

    Doctors say keiki should get vaccinated before start of school year (8/23)










    Back-to-School: Getting Kids Caught Up On Vaccines 

    Should you wait to get a Covid booster? 

    Colorado school vaccination rates drop for third year

    Creating ‘Communities of Immunity’ 





    AFP Topic Collection: Immunizations
    This collection features the best content from AFP on child and adult immunizations (excluding influenza) and related issues.

    AFP Topic Collection: Influenza
    This collection features the best content from AFP on influenza and related issues, including influenza vaccination and avian influenza.

    FPM: Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Eight Tips for a Better Conversation
    Research found that information sharing and motivational interviewing techniques can build trust and make vaccine-hesitant patients more open to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

    CDC: Vaccination Coverage with Selected Vaccines and Exemption Rates Among Children in Kindergarten  (1/23)
    During the 2021–22 school year, approximately 93% of kindergarteners received all state-required vaccines, down 1% from the year before and 2% from the 2019/2020 school year.

    CDC: Partner Reports on Vaccine Safety
    “CDC’s vaccine safety systems help ensure vaccines are as safe as possible. These monitoring systems help scientists conduct high-quality vaccine safety research.”

    CDC: ChildVaxView Interactive Child Vaccination Data
    The latest CDC data on vaccination coverage of young children ages 0-35 months in the U.S.

    CDC: SchoolVaxView Interactive School Vaccination Data  
    The latest CDC data on vaccination coverage and exemptions among kindergarteners in the U.S.

    CDC: AdultVaxView Interactive Adult Vaccination Data
    The latest CDC data on vaccination coverage of adults in the U.S. 

    Advocacy Focus: Vaccines and Immunizations
    The AAFP advocates at the federal and state levels to improve vaccination access, administration and uptake.

    AAFP Letter to the White House on End of COVID-19 PHE   2/23
    The AAFP recommended specific administrative actions and considerations ahead of the Public Health Emergency ending to ensure continued equitable access to care, including COVID-19 testing and vaccines.

    Q: Why is it important for patients to receive recommended vaccinations, especially before the school year begins?

    A: It’s critical that every member of the family is up to date on their vaccinations, including COVID-19 boosters, especially as the school year approaches. Vaccines are safe, effective and save lives. Immunizations are among the most cost-effective and successful ways to keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy. When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself and those around you. Your vaccination status impacts those who are unable to get vaccinated, such as infants under 6 months old and those who have weak immune systems.

    Because young children are still developing their immune systems, and different vaccines are given at different ages, it’s important for parents to keep their kids’ vaccinations up to date to prevent disease and boost immunity that may fade over time. Childhood and adult infections that were often fatal or disabling in the past very rarely cause deaths in the developed world today because of vaccines and public health advances. If we stopped vaccinating, diseases like whooping cough, measles, mumps and polio could come back and create a risk for new epidemics.

    The best way to prevent getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, or even dying, from an infectious disease is to get immunized. This includes flu vaccines, COVID-19 bivalent vaccines, and other childhood immunizations, as recommended by the CDC and AAFP.

    Q: How do family physicians help ensure everyone receives their recommended vaccinations?

    A: Understanding immunization schedules and keeping up with changing vaccine recommendations can be overwhelming, but family physicians can ensure that every member of a family receives the recommended vaccinations. Parents should talk to their family physician about which vaccines are appropriate for their child’s age and grade.

    Family physicians are well-equipped to administer vaccines to all members of the family and counsel patients on which vaccines they need and how different vaccines work. Patients trust their family physicians and can rely on them for accurate information and guidance. Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows 46 percent of Americans are more likely to get vaccinated if the COVID-19 vaccine was offered to them at a place they normally go for health care, including their family physician.

    Q: How do family physicians address vaccine misinformation and encourage patients to get vaccinated?

    A: The spread of patently false information can undermine safety, put communities at risk and potentially cause patients to forgo treatment rather than follow the guidance of trusted family doctors, scientists and medical experts. Family physicians are well-positioned to address vaccine hesitancy, educate patients and combat misinformation.

    Family physicians can answer questions and address concerns about immunization to help patients understand why they are necessary and to help them make the decision that’s best for their family’s health. They explain that before vaccines are made available to the public, multiple stages of research, testing, and clinical trials take place to make sure they are safe and effective. If patients express concern about potential vaccine side effects, family physicians reassure them that side effects occur because the vaccine is doing its job by activating the immune system.

    Q: What barriers impact vaccine equity and how can family physicians help increase access to vaccines?

    A: Regardless of economic and insurance status, children and adults should have access to all recommended immunizations. Family physicians play an important role in ensuring all members of the community can receive the COVID-19 vaccine, flu vaccine, and other routine immunizations that prevent dangerous diseases.

    According to the CDC, 24 million adults are uninsured, which is an important predictor of low vaccine uptake. Low vaccination rates among adults in racial and ethnic minority groups are even lower for those without health insurance. A lack of health literacy can also create barriers to vaccine access for patients of color, low-income patients, rural patients and patients in underserved areas.

    For families living in rural areas, access to vaccine resources like pharmacies may be limited and receiving immunizations from an office-based family physician may be the only option.  Better coordination of vaccine distribution can reach the unvaccinated and help people overcome vaccine hesitancy, improve health literacy and alleviate the strain on hospitals amid staffing shortages and in rural and underserved areas.

    For patient resources, please visit the AAFP’s consumer website, https://familydoctor.org