August is National Immunization Awareness Month
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is here to remind you how important vaccines are for all ages
Immunizations have been a major topic of discussion over the last two years as during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, National Immunization Awareness Month is here to remind us that all vaccinations are important, at all times, at all ages.
This year, the observance serves as an extra reminder to get all of your vaccinations that you may have missed over the last two years when your ability to attend important appointments was affected. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccination.
Why is it important to receive your immunizations?
Vaccines can help protect your whole family, as they help prevent or lessen the effects of vaccine-preventable diseases in both adults, children, and those who are pregnant. Immunizing works better the more people receive them, however, the numbers aren’t growing. For example, the national vaccination coverage among kindergarten children during the 2020-2021 school year dropped by about 1% from the previous year.
They’re even more important now as in-person activities have resumed. CHCW encourages parents to make sure children are up to date on routinely recommended vaccines. Well-child visits and check-ups are essential for routine vaccination, even during the pandemic.
You can also review the 2022 easy-to-read immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’re pregnant, now is a great time to find a doctor for your baby and schedule a visit to discuss any questions you have about vaccines.
What are some vaccine-preventable diseases?
Keeping up to date with your vaccines helps you avoid becoming seriously ill or being hospitalized for vaccine-preventable diseases. You’ll also be watching out for others. By getting vaccinated, you can help protect yourself and your family from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
Keeping up to date with your child’s immunizations can help them avoid diseases such as measles, chicken pox, and whooping cough. As well as your required vaccines, make sure that your child gets their yearly flu shot. CDC estimates that from 2010-2018, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than 5 years old have ranged from 7,000 to 26,000 in the United States.
Although many serious diseases in adults aren’t common in the United States thanks to vaccines, these diseases still exist and can spread when people aren’t vaccinated, so be sure to stay on top of your immunizations as an adult.
As an adult, you also may need to receive boosters for vaccines you received as a child that wore off. You may also risk other diseases due to your job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Find out what vaccines you may need based on different risk factors by consulting with your physician.
Symptoms of diphtheria start with a sore throat, chills, and mild fever. Next, a thick white or grayish coating on the back of the nose or throat can form. The coating may be white or grayish and makes it hard to breathe or swallow. The DTaP vaccine prevents diphtheria as well as tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis).
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses that infect men and women. These common viruses infect about 13 million people, including teens, every year. Some HPV infections can lead to certain types of cancer. The CDC recommends that preteens are vaccinated against HPV as early as it is safe. More than 35,000 men and women in the United States are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV each year.
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so new vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu viruses that are likely to cause the most illness. Also, protection provided by flu vaccination wears off over time. Your flu vaccine will protect against flu all season, but they will need a vaccine again next flu season for best protection against flu.
Chickenpox (varicella) is a potentially serious and even deadly disease that affects young children that usually presents as a rash of blisters and a fever, and keeps them home from school or childcare for at least one week. The vaccine protects your child from the disease. Make sure your child receives their shot to protect them.
What to expect when your child is vaccinated
To prepare yourself and your child before getting their immunizations, watch this video from the CDC that reviews the side effects that they may feel after getting shots. Learn more about childhood immunization by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html.