Maintaining Immunization Momentum for Adolescents and Young Adults

While the dust of the COVID-19 pandemic has settled, our work towards comprehensive and equitable vaccination coverage is far from over. As healthcare providers, parents, teens, and members of society, how we move forward and continue to improve immunization coverage is determined by important decision-making about staying up-to-date on recommended immunizations for adolescents and young adults . 

With the release of the new COVID-19 vaccine and constantly evolving immunization guidelines/recommendations, every role within the lives of adolescents and young adults serves as an important opportunity to promote the importance of staying on track for all recommended vaccines and boosters. While you and your students are home for the holidays, now is the time to maintain immunization momentum for our adolescents and young adults and establish preventive health as a priority for 2024. Stressing the value of vaccines to promote actionable outcomes not only protects the health and safety of our communities now, but also supports the creation of a positive foundation for future generations.   

Preventive Health for a Better Tomorrow 

By using language that suggests infectious-disease and virus prevention are a “thing of the past,” we allow for complacency rather than the ability to maintain diligence in routine vaccinations which are critical for protecting adolescents and young adults and our communities. Although it is true that May 11th, 2023 marked the end of the COVID-19 Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)‘s efforts to encourage vaccination have not ceased, and neither should yours!  

Vaccination should be at the forefront of our preventive health discussions moving forward, especially for adolescents and young adults. The transition from childhood to adolescence and young adulthood is an exciting time, filled with many developmental milestones including an increased sense of independence and decision-making skills. As your adolescents and young adults explore this exciting new chapter in their lives, take the opportunity to equip them with the necessary tools to make informed decisions about their health. Misinformation and disinformation about vaccines are widespread throughout media, so know the facts and better yet be aware of the myths! 

The take home message? Now is the time to proceed with the same level of rigor and dedication to best practices for vaccination.  

How Can Adolescents and Young Adults Stay Protected?  

It is crucial to maintain the same momentum that was encouraged during the pandemic. Thinking critically about vaccination choices and staying up-to-date is the strong response necessary to move in the direction towards keeping adolescents and young adults and communities protected through vaccination.  

The best first steps are to know where to find accurate information about the recommended vaccinations for your age group, talk to your health care provider about making an immunization plan, and utilize resources in your community such as pharmacies and health clinics to schedule immunization appointments. Search engines, such as, also serve as helpful tools to locate vaccination locations closest to you! 

Noted by Dr. Walter A. Orenstein of the Emory Vaccine Center on Unity’s podcast, FACTSinnated, “My favorite line is vaccines don’t save lives. I can agree with the anti-vaxxers there. Vaccinations save lives. A vaccine dose that remains in the vial is 0% effective no matter what the clinical trial showed.”  

Although public health discussions and priorities are continuously shifting and changing, the pandemic has provided another moment of clarity and significance in assessing the value of immunizations as a preventive health tool. Let’s keep that momentum going and make sure adolescents and young adults are current on all recommended vaccines!  

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Madeline McNee

Madeline McNee

Madeline is an Outreach and Development Intern with Unity® Consortium. She is responsible for supporting the execution and development of key initiatives and strengthening relationships with contributing organizations.

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