How to Give a Strong Recommendation to Adult Patients Who Require Vaccination

Mary C. Anderson, MD; Marie T. Brown, MD; Marie-Michele Léger, MPH, PA-C; Aparna Ramakrishnan, MA, MSW


April 16, 2015

Vaccinating Through the Lifespan

Most adults are not aware that they need vaccines throughout their lives. Your recommendation is a critical factor in whether your patients receive the vaccines they need. For some patients, providing a clear strong recommendation will be sufficient to accept vaccination, especially if you have a long and/or trusting relationship. Others may have questions or be more hesitant. Having regular assessments and ongoing conversations about vaccines can help reinforce the importance of immunization throughout the lifespan. Just because a patient refuses the vaccine at one visit does not mean that the patient will refuse it at a future visit, so continue to recommend needed vaccines!

Patients vary in their communication preferences, including what type of information they want, the level of detail they need, and how they best process information. The resources below, in various formats, can help you educate patients about recommended vaccines.

Vaccine Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommendations

Standards for Adult Immunization Practice

Vaccine Recommendation: A Series on Standards for Adult Immunization Practice

Factsheets for Adult Vaccines—Addressing Common Questions

Adult Vaccination Resources

Vaccine Information Statements

Professional Association Resources

AAFP Immunizations

ACOG Immunization

ACP Adult Immunization Portal

Immunization: Challenges and Solutions Video

Immunization Action Coalition

Talking About Vaccines

Adult Vaccination Resources

Vaccine Information Statements (>40 Languages)

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