PDF Print Email



Highlight on VACCINATION 4 TEENS Provides Tools and Resources to Help Increase Teen Vaccination Rates in Illinois

On Wednesday, November 8, as part of the Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS program, the IAFP hosted a webinar to address the importance of increasing teen vaccination rates in Illinois and across the U.S.

Dr. Corinne Kohler, Frances Nelson Medical Director at Promise Healthcare and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Champaign-Urbana, reviewed current vaccination rates in Illinois for four vaccines recommended for adolescents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): meningococcal*, human papillomavirus (HPV), Tdap, and influenza (flu) vaccines.1

Dr. Kohler also noted that the Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule now features a specific 16-year-old immunization visitto ensure that older adolescents to receive important recommended vaccinations.2

Bob Werner lost his daughter, Becky, to meningococcal meningitis when she was 20 years old. He shared his story to illustrate the devastation of meningococcal disease for health care professionals so they can help other families avoid the tragedy that his experienced.

Dr. Anton Grasch, a family physician at Junction Medical in Peoria, provided helpful insight into strategies to increase teen vaccination rates, including:

  • The importance of making a strong recommendation and projecting confidence;
  • The need to listen to patients and their parents/guardians, hear their concerns and address their questions;
  • Ensuring all care team members can address questions and speak to the importance of vaccination, and
  • Using materials provided in the Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS Resource Library, available at www.aafpfoundation.org/vaccinations4teens, to help educate staff, teen patients and their families. Materials include:

For teen patients and families:

  • Reminder communications (postcards, text messages, letters, emails)
  • Educational posters on four recommended teen vaccinations 
  • Personal testimonials
  • Content for office websites and social media channels

For care teams and office staff:

  • Guidance document to help address questions
  • Fact sheet on low teen immunization rates
  • Educational videos on the Immunization Schedule featuring Dr. Margot Savoy, AAFP’s liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
  • Link to AAFP Immunization Information Systems (IIS), a web-based map that displays immunization rates and exemption laws in all 50 states


The full webinar, including a Q&A session, is available here on the IAFP CME website. We encourage you to listen and also visit the Highlight on VACCINATIONS 4 TEENS Resource Library to learn more about how health care professionals can help educate Illinois teens and their families about vaccination.

*MenACWY = Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine that helps protect against invasive disease caused by serogroups A, C, W, and Y; the CDC also recommends MenB (serogroup B meningococcal vaccine) for certain adolescents at increased risk, e.g., students on college campuses that have recently experienced meningococcal B outbreaks


“Online Resources” Links:



  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017).National, Regional, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13–17 Years — United States, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6633a2.htm?s_cid=mm6633a2_w. Accessed September 12, 2017.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger, UNITED STATES, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-combined-schedule-bw.pdf.