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HHS Launches Bridge Access Program to Safeguard Free COVID-19 Vaccination for Uninsured and Underinsured Adults

In April, HHS announced the ‘HHS Bridge Access Program For COVID-19 Vaccines’ to maintain broad access to COVID-19 vaccines for millions of uninsured Americans. Last week, the Bridge Access Program officially launched, providing continued free coverage for the estimated 25-30 million adults who would have otherwise lost access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines now that the distribution of vaccines has transitioned to the commercial market.


Public health communicators can share a communication toolkit for partners to expand access to no-cost COVID-19 vaccines and promote the Bridge Access Program. The toolkit includes frequently asked questions and communication resources. Learn more about the program from the CDC here.

National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Communication Toolkit

September is recognized as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Kids need physical activity to be healthy. Playing sports can give kids benefits beyond physical health. They don’t need to be athletic — no matter what their level of skill or experience is, they can find an option that works for them.


To help your family get more active, check out the CDC's "Move Your Way®" materials for parents. Plus find the social media messages toolkit from CDC here.

CDC Flu Season Digital Media Toolkit: “Wild to Mild”

Encourage your followers on social media to get themselves and their families an annual flu vaccine with CDC’s newest digital social media toolkit, “Wild to Mild.” The digital campaign “Wild to Mild” visually shows how flu vaccination can ‘tame’ flu’s symptoms from being ‘wild’ to ‘mild’ in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. 


This digital toolkit includes details on events/activities, sample social media and newsletter content, graphics, web assets, and media prep material. This material is downloadable, shareable, and some of the material is customizable. Find it here.


Gun Violence is the Number One Public Health Threat

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Many of the health threats that plagued Americans several decades ago—such as unclean drinking water, bacterial and viral illnesses, and the consequences from behaviors such as smoking cigarettes and not wearing seatbelts—have been successfully diminished. These health threats were reduced thanks in part to the work of public health initiatives. 

However, a significant public health threat lingers without much hope on the horizon for a definitive resolution – the threat of gun violence. 

Unfortunately, results from a recent Axios/Ipsos American Health Index poll indicate that the majority of Americans surveyed now name gun violence in their communities as the number one health threat, followed closely by the threat of the opioid epidemic. 

The discussion of gun violence is intrinsically linked to political divisiveness. However, regardless of political lines, the threat to everyday Americans’ safety remains. The more that public health communicators and health organizations can reframe the issue of gun violence as a salient public health threat, the more progress may be made to ensure that Americans are safe. 

Here’s what you need to know about the state of gun violence in 2023 and how this kind of violence represents a threat to public health. 

U.S. Preparedness for the Next Pandemic

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The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration came on May 11, 2023. One significant lesson emerging from the COVID crisis is that the U.S. and most of the world were unprepared for it. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies stress that it is never too soon to prepare for the next global emergency. 

Will the U.S. be able to respond to the next global public health crisis?  

“We Cannot Kick This Can Down the Road” 

While it may feel like the country is winding down from the effects of COVID, many public health leaders and experts warn against complacency and inaction. Instead, they urge governments to negotiate policies and enact legislation to prepare for the next pandemic. 

At this year’s United Nations annual assembly, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed the inevitability of the next pandemic. He claimed, “We cannot kick this can down the road” because it is only a matter of when, not if, the next public health threat will emerge. 

The WHO is drafting a pandemic treaty that the member states will vote on in next year’s general assembly. This new treaty represents an agreement including more than 200 recommended actions countries can take to improve global security. Also, the treaty’s call to action covers the entire spectrum from pathogen identification to widespread vaccination. 

Recognizing June as National Men’s Health Month

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Men and women should be proactive about their health. However, some health issues pertain specifically to men. Each June, healthcare organizations around the country recognize Men’s Health Month as a way to encourage men to take care of their health and prevent future illnesses. 

National Men’s Health Month can also serve as a helpful nudge for some men who are reluctant to discuss health issues with their medical providers. 

Whether you work in public health, are a man, or are a person who loves a man, raising awareness about specific men’s health concerns is a great way to recognize Men’s Health Month this June. 

This article will show you how to encourage men to take care of their bodies, prevent disease, and seek medical attention to stay well. Furthermore, supporting men’s health overall can also help men in minority groups stay healthier. 

How Can Men Stay Healthy Over the Long Term? 

Staying healthy as a man means maximizing one’s longevity and taking steps to avoid the development of disease. This lifelong mission boils down to a few key pillars of healthy living that include exercising, healthy eating, and sleeping enough. And avoiding habits that can impact your long-term health, such as smoking cigarettes or drinking heavily. 

May 31 Is World No Tobacco Day

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Smoking rates among U.S. adults are at an all-time low. While this is good news, smoking and tobacco use still have significant health and economic implications for the global population. 

On May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World No Tobacco Day. This day is a powerful reminder of the tobacco epidemic that persists worldwide. Individuals and communities can take action against tobacco use. Also, World No Tobacco Day can empower people wanting to quit smoking for good. 

Adult Smoking Rates Have Dropped 

Last year, U.S. smoking rates dropped to one in nine adults or about 11%, an all-time low compared to 42% in the 1960s. However, adult use of electronic cigarettes rose to about one in 17. These findings come from a National Center for Health Statistics survey of over 27,000 adults. 


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