This toolkit is designed to equip members of the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) and their staff with the tools and information necessary to appropriately and effectively engage with elected officials. You’ll find a selection of immunization program activities and strategies for appropriately and effectively promoting sound immunization policies.
Legislators at the federal and state levels have enormous influence on policies and programs administered by state and local immunization program (IP) managers. By engaging with elected officials, IP managers support program efforts to rid the nation of vaccine-preventable diseases, ensure adequate resources for programs, and promote sound immunization policies.
Public health officials are often surprised to learn that many elected officials and their staff want to hear from immunization programs. Program managers and staff are the experts on immunization programs and can uniquely demonstrate the extraordinary value of the scarce public resources allocated to immunization programs.
Program managers are the best advocates for what the programs they lead need to be effective. If policymakers don’t hear from immunization programs, it’s possible they may only hear from those who are opposed to what they do.
That’s why it’s imperative for immunization program managers to engage in the policy process in an ethically responsible manner. The three chapters of this resource guide provide insight into how to do this. You can download a PDF of the whole guide, or each individual chapter.
Chapter 1: Advocacy Rules and the Legislative Process
Legislators at the federal and state levels have enormous influence on policies and programs administered by state and local immunization program managers. By engaging with elected officials, immunization program managers support program efforts to rid the nation of vaccine-preventable diseases, ensure adequate resources for programs, and promote sound immunization policies.
Chapter 1 of the Immunization Program Policy Guide covers the basics of program policy, including how to distinguish among education, advocacy, and lobbying, an overview of the relevant rules and regulations to ensure appropriate engagement, and fundamental information about the legislative process to guide effective action.
Chapter 2: The Public Policy Landscape and Key Partners
To maximize your effectiveness as a proponent for sound immunization policy, it helps to make periodic assessments of the policy landscape in your state or jurisdiction. Understanding key players’ roles and building relationships with them will allow you to anticipate, as well as shape, agendas where appropriate.
Chapter 2 of the Immunization Program Policy Resource Guide discusses the key players that shape the immunization policy landscape in your state, highlights the benefits of partnering with these key players, and offers suggestions for building effective relationships with them.
Chapter 3: Effective Strategies for Educating Policymakers
Effective education utilizes a range of tools to shape public debate and inform sound policy. Chapter 3 of the Immunization Program Policy Guide highlights several effective approaches to educating the public and policymakers, including developing outreach plans, building personal relationships, and working with the media to deliver compelling messages. Engaging coalition partners, anticipating opposition, and planning to evaluate are also covered.
Immunization program managers share key insights, lessons learned and steps for appropriately and effectively promoting sound immunization policies.
On January 14, 2021, this webinar provided a legislative update, tips for managing the 2021 legislative session, and a background on mandates.
On September 17, 2019 the webinar covered the difference between education, advocacy, and lobbying, relevant rules and regulations, and fundamentals of the legislative process. Program managers Ron Balajadia (HI) and Tonya Philbrick (ME) joined the webinar to share their perspectives.
Daycare & School Requirements
The bill would require immunization informed consent forms to include information on the vaccine’s manufacturing details, potential adverse reactions, vaccine…
Immunization Information Systems
Conclusions from this presentation include: Some IP and state Medicaid programs have formed collaborations to support improved vaccine access and…
Digital Data Loggers: Lessons from the Field examines the experience of immunization programs that were early adopters of Digital Data Loggers…
The Oregon Immunization Program evaluated the impact of a change in Oregon pharmacy law on adolescent influenza vaccination.
Safety & Effectiveness
Investments in Immunization
Notes from AIM staff on the Value of Vaccines report which summarizes recent evidence demonstrating how vaccines provide incredible value…
Working Together to Navigate the Legislative Environment and Address Misinformation: A Tip Sheet for Immunization Programs and PIOs
Connecting the Dots
Legislators at the federal and state levels greatly influence the policies and programs administered by state and local immunization program (IP) managers. While public health officials are often hesitant to engage in the political process, their expertise and advice is necessary to make sure programs run well.
AIM’s Policy Summaries are weekly recaps on legislation being introduced, in action, and that has passed.
AIM’s Legislative Round-Ups are bi-weekly recaps on immunization-related legislation.