August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

August Is National Immunization Awareness Month http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/family/children/august-is-national-immunization-awareness-month/ bb3 Aug 30, 2013

By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee

Immunizations according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the twentieth century.

The goal of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is to remind people that immunizations aren’t just for children. They are needed throughout your lifetime to help you stay healthy. Immunity from childhood diseases may wear off over time, and you may also be at risk for other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Babies and Pregnant Women

Pregnancy is a great time to plan a healthy start for your baby. Pregnant women should make sure they have the vaccines needed to protect themselves and their babies during the first few months of life.

  • Safe, proven power against disease. Vaccines help protect children against 14 serious diseases before they turn two years old. Every dose of vaccine is essential for protecting against infectious diseases such as the flu, measles, and whooping cough (pertussis) that can be life threatening for newborns and young babies.
  • Immunization schedule. Provide the best protection for your baby by following the recommended immunization schedule (PDF).
  • Health care guidance. Health care professionals can answer any vaccine-related questions and concerns you may have. The CDC also has more information for parents about children and vaccines. Families who need help paying for childhood vaccines should ask their health care provider about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children.
  • Tdap vaccine. Although all adults should get this vaccine once, it is recommended that women get this during each pregnancy.
  • Flu shot. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older.

Children, Preteens, and Teens

Back to school is a good time to make sure children are up-to-date on their vaccines. Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs, and dense populations.

  • Immunization schedule. Check the recommended immunization schedule for all recommended vaccines for ages 7 to 18.
  • Children ages 4 to 6. Boosters are due for four vaccines DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and polio.
  • Older children. Preteens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MCV4 (meningococcal conjugate vaccine), and HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccines.
  • Flu shot. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older.

Young Adults

Getting ready for college means making sure young adults are current on all recommended vaccines both to protect them and the people around them. Because some diseases can spread quickly in settings like college dorms and classrooms, many colleges and universities have vaccination entry requirements.

  • Vaccination records. If you are unsure about your immunization history, talk to your parents, doctor, health clinic, or high school nurse to check your records. The CDC updates the recommended vaccines each year based on the latest recommendations and research on vaccine safety, effectiveness, and patterns of vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Tdap vaccine. All adults should get this once to protect against whooping cough (pertussis), and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years thereafter.
  • Flu shot. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older.
  • Vaccines for travel. If you are planning to travel or study abroad, you may need additional vaccinations. Talk to your health care provider.

Adults

Many adults don’t realize they still need protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. As they grow older, their vaccination needs change and protecting themselves and their loved ones becomes very important.

  • Keeping current on immunizations. This is important for all adults, especially those who come in close contact with the very young, the very old, people with weakened immune systems, and those who cannot be vaccinated. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass on their illness to others.
  • Adults 60 years of age and older. Immunization is very important for this age group and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Tdap vaccine. All adults should get this once to protect against whooping cough (pertussis) and a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years thereafter.
  • Other vaccines. Immunization for shingles, pneumococcal, hepatitis, and HPV depends on one’s age, occupation, travel, risk factors, and health status. Check with your health care provider.
  • Flu shot. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older.

Getting vaccinated is an important action to help protect against serious and sometimes deadly diseases. Keep you and your family safe and healthy with regular immunizations.

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