Sticking to the recommended immunization schedule for kids and teens is a critical part of making sure children are best equipped to stay healthy now and in the future. Vaccines help prevent infections and fight severe illness caused by several preventable diseases. With free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), important childhood vaccines for kids and teens are covered.
One commonly overlooked vaccine is the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccine. Better known as HPV, this virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States and can cause cervical and other cancers later in life. There is no way to know who will be impacted by HPV, but families can act early to protect against diseases caused by HPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends boys and girls start receiving the HPV vaccine series between the ages of 11 and 12.
In 2021, the CDC reported that 76.9% of adolescents aged 13-17 years had received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine and 61.7% had completed the HPV vaccine series. More than 98% of HPV vaccine recipients who complete the full vaccination series develop an antibody response to the types of HPV included in the vaccine. All HPV vaccines have been found to have close to 100% efficacy for prevention of illness caused by HPV.
When connecting with families, be sure include messaging around about the importance of vaccinating against HPV; encourage use of Medicaid and CHIP benefits to ensure their children are up to date on all of their vaccines, like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and B, HPV, and more. You can find resources and materials to help your community outreach at InsureKidsNow.gov.
Encouraging Families to Catch Up on Well-Child Visits and Recommended Vaccinations
Children who are not protected by vaccines are more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough. These diseases are extremely contagious and can be very serious, especially for babies and young children. In recent years, there have been outbreaks of these diseases, especially in communities with low vaccination rates. Campaign partners, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommend children catch up on routine childhood vaccinations and get back on track for school, childcare, and beyond and to stay healthy. According to the CDC, there was a concerning drop in routine immunizations for children and adolescents over the last few years. While routine vaccination coverage is rebounding, the rates are uneven and have not yet recovered among all groups. The CDC has developed resources to encourage that all school-aged children are up to date on their routine vaccines, have received recommended COVID-19 vaccines, and routine vaccination coverage is equitably distributed.
Maternal Vaccines: Fighting Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine (RSV) to Protect the Youngest
There are several ways pregnant individuals can protect themselves and their unborn baby from severe illness. In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first vaccine for use in pregnant individuals to prevent lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) and severe LRTD caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants from birth through 6 months of age. RSV is a highly contagious respiratory disease, affecting people of all ages, and can cause severe complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. According to the CDC, RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization in the U.S. When pregnant individuals get vaccinated against RSV, they are protecting themselves and their unborn baby. RSV typically circulates at the same time as flu, starting in October and lasting until February. As you prepare to start seasonal outreach in your community about fighting flu, consider including information about fighting RSV and encouraging pregnant individuals to get the new vaccine, which is covered by Medicaid and CHIP.
It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed each year from September 15 to October 15 to celebrate the achievements, histories, traditions, and cultural diversity of Hispanic/Latino Americans. All of the Campaign’s materials in the Outreach Tool Library are available in English and Spanish, including social media messages and images, PSA scripts, and ready-made article templates for placing information in community newspapers, school newsletters, church bulletins, websites and blogs. These materials can be customized with your organization's logo and contact information for free.
Call for Organizations to Spotlight in November Webinar
Do you frequently work with families living in rural areas? Do you have tips and best practices to share with others for how to best get families in rural areas connected to Medicaid and CHIP? We want to hear from you! If you’re interested in presenting on your work at the Campaign’s upcoming November webinar focused on rural health, please email ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov. You can also share other tips with your peers during the webinar that the Campaign can share.
- Newborn Screening Awareness Month (September)
- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (September)
- Sports Eye Safety Month (September)
- Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September)
- Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15)
- Get Ready for Flu Day (9/19)
- Bullying Prevention Month (October)
- Children's Health Month (October)
- Down Syndrome Awareness Month (October)
- Health Literacy Month (October)
- Healthy Lung Month (October)
- National Dental Hygiene Month (October)
- National ADHD Awareness Month (October)
- Mental Health Awareness Week (10/1-10/7)
- Global Handwashing Day (10/15)
- National Health Education Week (10/15-10/21)
- National Health Education Week (10/17-10/21)
- International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (10/22-10/28)
Stay Connected with the Campaign
- Share our Campaign materials. Our ever-growing, Outreach Tool Library features a variety of targeted resources to use in your outreach and enrollment efforts, available in multiple formats and languages.
- Contact us. To get more involved with the Campaign, contact us via email at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov.
- Follow the Campaign on X (formally Twitter). Remember to re-tweet or share our messages from @IKNGov with your social network and be sure to use our #Enroll365 and #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.
Subscribe to the “Campaign Notes” eNewsletter
The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign eNewsletter “Campaign Notes” is distributed throughout the year and provides updates on Campaign activities. If a friend or colleague forwarded this email to you, we invite you to sign up to receive this eNewsletter directly to your inbox.