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The MNAAP Immunization Taskforce is committed to increasing infant, child, and teen immunization rates and decreasing barriers to vaccination. The task force is currently co-chaired by Dawn Martin, MD, FAAP, MPH and Garrett Jones, MD, FAAP.

Only three in four Minnesota children are up to date on their immunizations. Not only do immunizations save lives, but they also save on health care costs with every $1 spent yielding an estimated $10‐$14 in saved expenditure.

Improving the Minnesota pediatric immunization rates is one of the four strategic priorities of the MNAAP Board for 2017-2020

The MNAAP supports all efforts to strengthen immunization laws and eliminate personal belief, non-medical exemptions in Minnesota. MNAAP issued the policy statement “Stronger Childhood Immunization Laws needed in Minnesota” to explain this priority position.

The MNAAP Immunization workgroup meets by conference call on a monthly or “as needed” basis and welcome new members. Contact for information.

Sample Social Media Messages to Encourage Vaccination

Sample Social Media Messages – Word Document

Vaccine Reminder/Recall Strategies

Putting Reminder/Recall into Action: Reviewing Specific Clinic Scenarios and Deciding Next Steps

Increasing Adolescent Vaccination Rates: An Introduction to Assessment reports and Recall/Reminder Messages

Recent Work Group Call Information

March 2020 Work Group Call Audio Replay

March 2020 Slides: Reducing Pain and Anxiety with Needle Procedures

Sept. 2019 Work Group Call Video Replay

Activities Include  

  • Immunization advocacy at the state legislature and in administrative hearings/policy;
  • Supports professional education;
  • Partners closely with the MDH and updates to Minnesota Childcare and School Immunization Laws;
  • Implements grant-funded projects to increase immunization education supports clinics with immunization resources and funding;
  • MOC4 projects for pediatricians on improving immunization rates and outreach; and
  • Educational scholarships to support bilingual Community Health Workers and foreign-trained physicians to increase immunization outreach and education.

View Video & Webinars
Explore Current Grants

Helpful Information on Vaccines

MNAAP policy statement “Stronger Childhood Immunization Laws Needed in Minnesota” [PDF]

With fewer kids vaccinated, more Minnesota schools are vulnerable to measles and chickenpox – Star Tribune March 23, 2019 article, featuring information and quotes from MNAAP President-elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP

Difficult Conversations in the Ambulatory Pediatric Setting
Authored by Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, president-elect of MNAAP, this article from the Journal of Pediatric Ethics discusses Dr. Berkowitz’s own experience in approaching conversations about immunizations with reluctant parents, or groups. (Published Winter 2019)

Minnesota Department of Health
625 Robert Street N PO Box 64975 St Paul, MN 55164-0975

Consider attending MDH’s annual Got Your Shots? Immunization Conference


Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC)
Over 90 percent of Minnesota children less than 18 years of age are enrolled in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). More than 3,000 organizations use MIIC, including primary care clinics, specialty providers, schools, childcare facilities, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, pharmacies, and hospitals.


Immunization Action Coalition
The Immunization Action Coalition is a St. Paul-based, independent, not-for-profit with a national reputation for accurate and helpful vaccine info.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention post here the official ACIP schedule as well as recommendations, educational materials, and more.


AAP Provider Resources
American Academy of Pediatrics website includes resources for pediatricians regarding vaccines and the diseases they prevent.


CHOP Vaccine Education Center
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases


Parent education videos for Somali Americans
Developed by Mayo Clinic with funds from AAP – Autism:



Simulation Introduction: Power Point slides
Making the CASE for Vaccines: Power Point slides
CASE card (Word document): Side 1 | Side 2


Facts to Know

What’s the science about whether vaccines might cause autism?

  • Dozens of studies have been performed in the United States and elsewhere. These studies do not show any link between MMR vaccine, thimerosal, and autism.
  • The increasing rate of the diagnosis of autism has occurred independently of the rates of vaccine use and has persisted even in countries that stopped MMR vaccination.
  • One study published in 2010 deserves special attention. It found infants who followed the recommended vaccine schedule performed better on 42 different neuropsychological outcomes years later than children who delayed or skipped vaccinations.
  • You can read further about this in the AAP document published November 2010 entitled “Vaccine Studies: Examine the Evidence”

What’s the science about whether vaccines are necessary?

  • Vaccine-preventable diseases can have dangerous consequences, including seizures, brain damage, blindness and even death, but because of the success of the national immunization program, many young parents today have never seen a case of one of these illnesses.
  • Measles, meningitis, chickenpox, pertussis and other diseases exist in the world and would re-emerge here if immunization rates fell. For example, recent outbreaks of measles in the U.S. were traced to unvaccinated children who became infected while traveling in Europe. Likewise, it would only take one case of polio from another country to bring the disease back to the U.S. if children are not protected by vaccination.
  • The rates of infants under 2 who are hospitalized due to influenza equals the rates in the elderly, and more than 40% of school children get influenza on average every year. The vaccine reduces that risk by 45 to 90% depending on the year.
  • You can read further about the need for vaccines in the AAP “Vaccine-Preventable Diseases “

What’s the science about whether vaccines should be delayed or spread out to prevent vaccine overload?

  • Infants and children are exposed to many germs every day just by playing, eating, and breathing. Their immune systems fight those germs, also called antigens, to keep the body healthy. The amount of antigens that children fight every day (2,000-6,000) is much more than the antigens in any combination of vaccines on the current schedule (150 for the whole schedule). So children’s immune systems are not overwhelmed by vaccines.
  • Some of the vaccine-preventable diseases put babies at risk early in infancy and if not prevented lead to hospitalization and death.
  • Alternative schedules that delay vaccines have not be tested for safety or effectiveness.
  • You can read further about these studies in the AAP document published October 2008 entitled “The Childhood Immunization Schedule: Why Is It Like That?”


Sample Letters to the Editor Encouraging Vaccinations

The American Jewish World:  “Behind the New Measles Outbreak” (Commentary authored by MNAAP President-Elect Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, May 2019)

Star Tribune: Vaccination letters (2018)

Rochester Post Bulletin: State Measure to Ensure Parents Know about Vaccines Needs Support (2015)

Star Tribune: Letter from senior pediatricians (2015)

Pioneer Press: Vaccines: A Public Health Victory (2011)

Rochester Post Bulletin: Goal is Simple: Every Vaccine for Every Child (2011)


Current Law

Minnesota Immunization Law
MNAAP is actively engaged in working with MDH to update Minnesota’s Childcare and School Immunization Law.

States with non-medical exemptions

Chart updated February 2018



Immunization Action Coalition Blog
Moms Who Vax Blog


Pediatric Flu

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