National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) Resource Kit

“Communicating with Patients about Immunization”

Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers are parents’ most trusted source for immunization information. NNii has created a resource kit to assist these professionals in answering parents’ questions and discussing immunization-related issues.

Written by immunization experts and risk-communication specialists, the NNii Resource Kit is designed as a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource for physicians, nurses, and their patients. It includes:

  • A series of information sheets for healthcare providers to use as a guide or a handout to educate parents simply, clearly, and effectively at each of the key childhood visits (2-month, 4-month, 6-month, etc).
  • Vaccine-specific information on childhood vaccines, including polio, Hib, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, and rubella, chickenpox, meningococcal, and pneumococcal conjugate. This section includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Information Statements, which by law every provider is required to distribute to parents. The section also contains two other patient handouts developed by NNii to supplement the CDC Vaccine Information Statements. Entitled ‘Important Facts for Parents to Know’ and ‘Frequently Asked Questions,’ these handouts provide interested parents with:
    • A more complete understanding of each vaccine and the disease it prevents
    • Each disease’s symptoms and the risks of infection
    • The possible side effects of each vaccine
    • What parents should do if their child has a reaction to a vaccine
  • Both of the NNii vaccine-specific patient handouts are written in patient-friendly language, and use a consistent style and layout for parents’ ease of reference and understanding. Each vaccine’s risk and benefit ratios, for example, are explained using both percentages and a consistent fraction expressed per 10,000 shots given, so they can be easily compared from one vaccine to another.
  • The Resource Kit also contains vaccine-specific information for each vaccine recommended for adult use, from the more commonly known flu and tetanus vaccines the less known and newer vaccines such as pneumococcal conjugate (pneumonia) and varicella (chickenpox). Parallel to the Childhood Vaccine-Specific Information section, this section again includes the CDC Vaccine Information Statements and NNii patient handouts to provide adult patients with a clear understanding of each recommended vaccine and the disease it prevents.
  • The Childhood, Adolescent, and Adult Immunization Recommendation Schedules, along with Childhood Catch-Up Schedule and Contraindications/Precautions Charts, are included in the Resource Kit for ease of reference.
  • The “Common Questions” section in the resource kit presents a series of brief yet clear and accurate answers to difficult questions such as:
    • Are vaccines safe? 
    • How are vaccines tested?
    • How do vaccines work?
    • Do vaccines use up or overload the immune system?
    • How is the safety of vaccines monitored?
    • Is it better to be naturally infected rather than vaccinated?

Providers can distribute these answers as patient handouts, or simply use them as a guide. Each answer contains complete references to the most current scientific literature.

  • The Resource Kit also contains extensive background information designed for those who desire a through understanding of vaccines and related issues, such as how vaccines work, history and achievements of vaccines, how vaccines are selected for routine use, how vaccines are recommended, how vaccine use becomes law, and monitoring vaccine safety.
  • The Resource Kit has a special section of additional resources, such as Internet sites and telephone hotlines, for more information about immunizations

All materials in the Resource Kit can be easily reproduced on any copy machine. Every page is dated so one can easily determine how recently the material was updated. In addition, the most current version of the Resource Kit is available on the NNii Web site at