ADVOCACY Working Together For Improved Immunization Rates Across the Lifespan
PIC has a direct interest in legislative and regulatory issues that address immunization issues across the lifespan.
The Coalition works to provide communication and information on these legislative and regulatory efforts. We take support or oppose positions on specific bills or regulations only when there is consensus among PIC members that the issue is of critical importance and consistent with the mission of PIC.
The Philadelphia Immunization Coalition is a nonpartisan organization and does not make political endorsements. The Coalition may, however, take a position on and advocate for specific immunization-related programs, policies and legislation that the Board of Directors considers would support the mission of the Coalition.
How to advocate locally: What can you do?
Advocacy efforts can range from email and letter writing campaigns to legislative visits. The strategy you pick will depend on your goal, the specific situation/issue at hand, and your capacity. For a list of suggestions see section below on Strategies for Getting our Immunization Message to Policy Makers.
Legislative visits are a good way to help educate decision makers on immunization issues. They help to put a face on the issues, express constituency concern, and to position you and your organization as a credible resource for immunization issues that may arise in the future. Contact information on legislators can be found here: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. If you don’t know your legislator, call your County Elections Office or go to https://www.legis.state.pa.us/, click “Your Legislature,” and input your zip code.
It is important to plan ahead for a legislator visit. The step-by-step Visiting with Your Legislator outline may help guide your planning efforts. During your visit, it is helpful to have talking points outlining the key messages you want to communicate in a logical order. The Legislator Talking Points is an example of such an outline.
Strategies for Getting our Message to Policy Makers
There is a wide range of possible strategies for getting our immunization messages to policy makers. Here are a few ideas:
- Establish an information system (email listing) for getting important information and pertinent news to legislators
- Include legislators on mailing list for newsletters, Alerts, etc.
- Assemble an information packet for legislators (this also can be left with legislators after an in person visit)
- Write an opinion-editorial piece for your local newspaper
- Hold an event an invite your local legislators to participate
- Conduct an in person legislative visit
Visiting with Your Legislator
When well planned, in person legislative visits are a great way to get immunization messages to policy makers. Being prepared is key to a successful visit. The following outline is here to help you get ready for visiting with your legislator. Someone who has made legislative visits before also can provide you with tips and suggestions from their experiences.
Here you can find information for parents ranging from topics such as school immunization requirements to finding a doctor
- Schedules https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html
- VFC Program (provides vaccine at no cost to eligible children) https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html
- Philadelphia Department of Public Health https://www.phila.gov/departments/department-of-public-health/
- Getting a copy of your child’s immunization record https://vax.phila.gov/index.php/documents/immunization-record-request/
- School District Immunization Requirements: found under resources for families https://www.philasd.org/resources-for-families/ https://vax.phila.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/School-Immunization-Parent-Flyer_5-8-19.pdf
- Visit the School District of Philadelphia’s website here: https://www.philasd.org/
Infectious diseases can spread quickly in classrooms. For this reason, the Philadelphia Board of Health requires immunizations to protect school children. The following vaccinations are required for children attending any K-12 school (public, parochial, private and charter) in the City of Philadelphia:
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
- Rubella (German Measles)
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
Four Important Steps to Take When You are Vaccinated Parents and patients should be encouraged to discuss their concerns with their health care provider:
- Review the vaccine information sheets that explain the potential risks of each vaccine. Health practitioners are required by law to provide them.
- Talk to the doctor about whether certain reactions to vaccines can be controlled. For example, fever may be prevented or reduced by taking acetaminophen before or after the shot.
- Let the doctor know if the child, a sibling, or the parent has ever had a bad reaction to a vaccine.
- Ask the doctor about conditions under which parents or children should not be vaccinated. This might include being sick or having a history of certain allergic or other adverse reaction to previous vaccines.
Providers and Clinicians can find a host of useful information here, ranging from information on VFC/VFAAR programs to properly managing vaccine
- General Topics: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/index.html
- VFC Program for Providers: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/providers/index.html
- VFAAR Program: Coming Soon
- Community Flu Program: https://vax.phila.gov/index.php/flu-clinics/
- Reporting Immunizations in Philadelphia: http://vax.phila.gov
- Storage and Handling: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/storage/index.html
- City District Health Centers: https://www.phila.gov/services/mental-physical-health/city-health-centers/
- Federally Qualified Health Centers: https://vax.phila.gov/index.php/resources/federally-qualified-health-centers/
- Pharmacies: https://vax.phila.gov/index.php/resources/vaccinating-pharmacies/
- City of Philadelphia Board of Health Laws and Regulations: https://www.phila.gov/departments/board-of-health/board-of-health-regulations/
- Reporting a Communicable Disease: http://www.health.state.pa.us/pdf/providerinfo/rdc5x8.pdf
- VAERS: http://vaers.hhs.gov/index
PIC can help with community outreach in Philadelphia!
- Requesting attendance at a Health Fair
- Flu Programs for at risk community
Free Educational Materials (English and Spanish)
If your organization wants a health department employee to attend an event please fill out the form below and you will be contacted as soon as possible
Immunization information systems (IISs), otherwise known as registries, are confidential, population-based, computerized databases that record all immunization doses administered by participating providers to persons residing within a given geopolitical area
Pennsylvania has two information immunization systems (IISs). One is the state IIS: PA-SIIS
The second is the Philadelphia County IIS PhilaVax
PhilaVax serves clinicians in the Philadelphia County, whereas the state IIS serves the rest of Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia County
- Getting Started with IIS https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/index.html
- Reporting Vaccinations in Philadelphia https://vax.phila.gov/
- HL7 introduction https://www.hl7.org/implement/standards/
- Meaningful Use https://www.cdc.gov/ehrmeaningfuluse/faq.html