August is National Immunization Awareness Month! This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. Most of us are not sure if we are current on our vaccinations, so this is a great time to check with your healthcare provider to see if you and your family are overdue for any immunizations. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases, such as whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia, through on-time vaccination. CareATC encourages you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you, your child, and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines. We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.
Immunizations save lives every year. Diseases that were once common and impacted millions of lives are now rare. The global effort to eliminate diseases such as polio, measles and tetanus (to name a few) have been very successful. Getting vaccinated allows your body to build protection against a disease and helps your immune system initiate a response that will repel the invading disease. As we have all experienced the disastrous influence that an unchecked virus can have on our society, it is important to note the role that vaccinations have on the prevention of outbreaks, our personal health, and many other aspects of daily life and society as a whole.
Over the past year we have heard a lot about vaccines and immunizations on the news. While this has centered around the vaccine for COVID-19, it is important that we don’t forget to keep current on vaccines for other diseases. Certain groups, such as children, pregnant women, and older adults are particularly impacted by vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccinations are important across all age-groups in preventing disease.
- As our kids are going back to school and getting any sports physicals, this is a great opportunity to discuss vaccinations with your healthcare provider. It is recommended that parents adhere to a vaccination schedule in order to ensure complete coverage. For children, vaccination is important because it helps to build up immunity before children are exposed to any potential diseases. Delaying or skipping a vaccination could potentially expose your child to unnecessary risks. Please talk to your doctor to discuss your child’s vaccinations and ensure they are on the correct immunization schedule. For questions regarding your child’s vaccination schedule, click on https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/schedules/index.html.
- For adults, vaccination is also important. Many don’t realize that they still need to keep them up-to-date throughout adulthood. Many of us require booster shots of vaccinations that we received during childhood in order to remain immune. The vaccine for tetanus and whooping cough (Tdap) is important for all adults, but especially for pregnant women. Depending on your job, age, or health condition, your doctor may recommend additional vaccines.
- Lastly, flu season is right around the corner. It is important that everyone, especially those in high-risk groups such as pregnant women and the elderly, get vaccinated to prevent the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work/school and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. This is the time to start prioritizing our health and ensure we are as protected as possible against any disease that is vaccine-preventable.
Vaccines continue to save millions of lives, by preventing outbreaks of severe illness. In the last year, we have all come to understand more about the importance of vaccines and the impact disease prevention has on all aspects of society. You can find additional immunization information as well as toolkits and other resources at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html and https://www.nphic.org/niam. You can utilize these toolkits to learn more about vaccines and to check what vaccinations you may need based on your health and risk.
Immunizations Save Lives, Are You Protected?