Vaccines are instrumental public health tools to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and their resulting illness, hospitalization, disability, and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports indicate that adult vaccination rates in the United States remain low for many of the recommended routine vaccines, including influenza, pneumococcal, and tetanus. Similar disparities exist for herpes zoster and tetanus vaccines. Immunization rates exhibit disparities across geographic regions, racial/ethnic populations, and age groups.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make approximately 80% of the health care decisions in their households. Therefore, as caregivers, women are in a unique position to ensure their loved ones receive the appropriate vaccines over the course of their lives. It is imperative that they have science-based and culturally relevant information to make informed decisions to optimize their family’s health.

Vaccines are part of the SWHR Infectious Diseases Network, which engages the following focus areas: HPV & Related Diseases and Vaccines.

Program Goals

  • Use science-based information to highlight the health benefits of vaccines across the lifespan and build public trust in the safety of vaccines
  • Engage community leaders to advocate for vaccine participation among women and their communities
  • Address health disparities and improve health equity through increased immunization, with a focus on underserved communities
  • Develop informative materials for public education and community outreach to increase vaccine participation and improve patient and public health outcomes

Facts about Vaccines


lower routine vaccination rates observed in Black or African American and Hispanic or Latino adults


of women do not get the recommended flu and Tdap vaccines during pregnancy


reduction in infant flu infection risk when mom is vaccinated during pregnancy

More about Vaccines