August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD — AFC Doctors Express, the largest independent urgent-care provider in the Commonwealth, encourages families to make sure vaccines are up-to-date. Vaccines can help prevent the spread of contagious diseases to the most vulnerable of community members, including pregnant women, babies, and people with compromised immune systems.

“August is the perfect time to start considering your family’s immunization schedule. Vaccines become available, and children should be vaccinated before heading back to school in the fall,” said Dr. Vincent Meoli, regional medical director of AFC Doctors Express. “Don’t forget, if you are planning a vacation, you may also need an immunization, depending on your travel destination.”

Not only school-age children need vaccinations? Others include pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant; teens and young adults, to protect against meningitis and blood infections, cancers caused by human papillomavirus, as well as tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and seasonal flu; and adults, who should receive flu vaccines each year as well as one dose of the Tdap vaccine to guard against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Adults 60 years and older should also consider receiving the shingles vaccine. Additionally, adults may need other vaccines such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and the HPV vaccine, depending on whether or not they have already received these immunizations.

Finally, babies require a strict immunization schedule and should receive vaccinations that help protect against 14 diseases by age two. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can actually spread diseases to other children.

At its Springfield and West Springfield locations, AFC Doctors Express patients can now check in online by visiting and clicking on the ‘reserve your spot online’ button featured on the home page.

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