In order to protect and promote healthy, productive communities, everyone must have equal access to vaccines. This requires public health officials to have the ability to make decisions based on the best available information. Policies to make this happen fall into three categories:
Data. Public health officials need the ability to collect and share data to make informed decisions and to track and evaluate current vaccination efforts, including:
- Ability to track potential outbreaks, vaccination rates, demographic and geographic data, and barriers to being vaccinated
- Information sharing among states/other state and federal agencies
Funding. Vaccination efforts must be funded appropriately to ensure all individuals can receive all vaccinations for which they are eligible and health departments must have the necessary resources to efficiently carry out this mission, including:
- Funding to provide a “vaccine safety net” to ensure that all individuals have access to all recommended vaccines, regardless of insurance status or geographical location
- Adequate resources to sustain a qualified workforce, adopt necessary technology and conduct appropriate culturally-relevant education and awareness campaigns
Ability. Public health officials should be empowered to:
- Identify vaccines necessary for school-entry requirements
- Convene collaborations between agency heads, immunization coalitions and other stakeholders
- Build confidence in vaccines, by combating misinformation and conducting appropriate education and outreach campaigns
Some of these bills may already be in process in your state. Track Legislation in your state at the National Council of State Legislators website, a nonpartisan group that tracks legislation on many different issues.
Ready to reach out to your state legislators? Check out our quick and easy email forms.
You can also join your local immunization coalition, which works to make sure people are aware of, and have access to, vaccines. Find Your State Legislation Coalition.