Many parents have questions about immunizations. To give parents a place to go for information that they can trust, the Health Department has created a comprehensive public information campaign called It’s Ok to Ask.
The web-centered campaign offers resources to help parents make informed decisions about immunization. The It’s OK to Ask website – www.oktoaskvt.org – has research-based medical information, video discussions among Vermont moms and a local pediatrician on a variety of topics, and an interactive timeline tracing the history of vaccines back to the 1700s. Parents can also submit questions that will be reviewed and answered by a local pediatrician, nurse or fellow parent.
“We know parents want to protect their children but have questions about vaccines,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD. “And the Health Department wants to see as many children who can be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases have that opportunity. We hope that this effort will help parents, and all of us, succeed in protecting and improving the health of generations of Vermonters.”
Parents are free to make choices about immunizations based on their personal beliefs, but each family is also part of a community that depends on one another for safety and protection. It’s OK to Ask incorporates social media channels that foster a respectful environment for parents to share thoughts, experiences and concerns about immunizations. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages promote conversation among parents who are seeking information and support as they make decisions for their young children. These pages also serve as local parenting, health and wellness resources.
“Increasing the percentage of children who are fully vaccinated according to the recommended schedule is a top priority of Healthy Vermonters 2020, our state’s public health goals for the decade,” said Dr. Chen. “We are excited to bring the priorities of parents and public health together in this innovative campaign.”