Making a difference in national policy is easier than many of us think. Whether you have five minutes or a whole day, you can do something to support vaccines and science-based vaccination policies, and make a real difference. Below are several ideas based on the amount of time you have to spend.
First, educate yourself about vaccine issues that require legislative attention by reading VYF’s annual State of the ImmUnion reports. You can also stay up-to-date on national vaccination issues by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, subscribing to our Shot of Prevention blog, and by signing up for Immunization Alerts from Vaccinate Your Family. We will send you vaccine-related updates and provide you with opportunities to weigh in on immunization issues and policies.
Reach Out to Your Legislators
Your representatives in Congress want hear from you. Even if you only have five minutes, you can tell your representatives that vaccines matter.
If you have 2 to 15 minutes:
- Find out who your state representatives are in Congress (House of Representatives and Senate)
- Connect with/contact your Congressional representatives through social media to find out their views on vaccines, and to share your thoughts on immunization-related issues you care about.
- Call or email your representatives to discuss immunization-related issues you care about.
- Register to vote.
If you have 10 to 30 minutes:
- Send your legislators a list of questions to determine their stance on vaccine policies.
- Send your legislators VYF’s State of the ImmUnion report.
- Visit your representatives’ offices to discuss immunization-related issues you care about.
- Vote for pro-science/pro-vaccination candidates.
If you have 60 minutes to one day:
- Host a house party, town hall meeting, or other type of outreach event to educate your friends, family and/or community members about vaccines and immunization-related policies, and provide opportunities for them to take action.
- Attend a town hall meeting, legislative meeting or candidate forum to ask your elected leaders or candidates what their stance is on issues important to you, like vaccines.
Weigh In on U.S. Vaccine Recommendations and Immunization Policies That Affect Your Community
All federal committees in charge of vaccine recommendations and immunization-related policies are open to the public and offer opportunities for you to comment.
- Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): The ACIP is a group of medical and public health experts who carefully review the latest science to create the immunization schedules for use in people of all ages in the United States. They hold three meetings per year at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, GA. You can attend their meetings in person or watch them online, and you can also offer comments.
- National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC): The NVAC is also comprised of medical and public health experts. Their role is to make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on ways the government can ensure a steady supply of safe and effective vaccines, as well as implement policies to increase vaccination rates and ensure ongoing vaccine safety. The NVAC meets in Washington, D.C., and by phone. You can attend the NVAC meetings in DC in person or watch them online, and you can also offer comments.
- Advisory Committee on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV): The ACCV advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on issues relating to the operation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). There are nine voting members who provide oversight of the VICP and recommend ways to improve the VICP. The VICP is the federal “no-fault” program designed to compensate individuals, or families of individuals, who have been injured by vaccines. The group meets by phone or in person at HHS’ office in Rockville, MD. You can join the meetings in person or online, and may provide public comments.
Create a Culture of Immunization
- Host a house party or a town hall meeting to educate your friends, family and/or community members about vaccines and immunization-related policies, and provide opportunities for them to take action.
- Join March for Science to become a part of a global movement of science supporters in advocating for equitable, evidence-based policies for the common good.
- Talk about why you vaccinate your family – around your dinner table, your water cooler, family events and social outings.
- Follow Vaccinate Your Family on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Invite your friends, family members and colleagues to like our Facebook page, and like and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Subscribe to our Shot of Prevention blog and share posts with friends, family and colleagues.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
- Volunteer to help a pro-vaccine candidate, cause or organization like Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two.
- Donate to Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child By Two.