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Region 5 Blog August 17th, 2022
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Consumer Health Minute: 2021 Word of the Year

Posted by on January 7th, 2022 Posted in: Consumer Health, Health Literacy
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Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2021….(drum roll)… Vaccine! Even Oxford’s word for the year is Vax. Surprised by this news?

words Vaccine and Vax in yellow capital letters

Both Oxford Languages and Merriam-Webster chose these similar words for similar reasons. The number of lookups was significant and according to Merriam-Webster, those lookups “increased 601% over the year since 2020” and in August, it jumped by 535%.

It makes sense with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines along with the bombardment by social media and news stories. This sparked debates in various political, religious, health, and social circles. Just think about how often vaccines were talked about between co-workers, friends, and family.

Obviously, there was a need for information. Some great resources for information about vaccines include:

MedlinePlus with links to additional vaccine information such as COVID-19 Vaccines

The CDC provides:

Are you a history buff? The National Library of Medicine History of Medicine division has an interesting tour of their historical collections regarding vaccines.

TED ED has some short lessons on How Do COVID-19 Vaccines Work? and one on How Do Vaccines Work?

And maybe you want to know how they’re developed and allocated? The World Health Organization has a series of postings, Vaccines Explained. The series includes illustrations and content covering such topics as how they are developed, the manufacturing, and safety.

Knowing more about vaccines can increase our understanding of their role in keeping healthy.

Image of the author ABOUT Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the NNLM Region 5. She works with various libraries and community organizations to increase health literacy in their communities.

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Developed resources reported in this program are supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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