Sure Shots – August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Communities across the country use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases across the lifespan.
As part of this awareness campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer the following reminders.
1. We all need vaccines throughout our lives to help protect against serious diseases. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines; some people are hospitalized, and some even die. Immunization is our best protection against these diseases. Vaccination is a critical step in protecting those that are most vulnerable to illness — infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.
2. Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do still happen in communities across the U.S. Vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once regularly harmed or killed many infants, children, and adults. However, the germs that cause vaccine-preventable disease still exist and can be spread to people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccination is not only protects the person who gets the vaccine, but also helps to keep diseases from spreading to others, like family members, neighbors, classmates, and other community members.
3. The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take many steps to make sure vaccines are very safe. Before a vaccine is approved for use in the U.S., it goes through years of careful testing to make sure it is safe and effective. The FDA also inspects the sites where vaccines are made to make sure they follow strict manufacturing guidelines. Once a vaccine is licensed, FDA and CDC continue to monitor its use and make sure there are no safety concerns. Like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. In most cases, side effects are mild (e.g., soreness where the shot was given) but go away within a few days. Severe, long-lasting side effects from vaccines are rare.
4. Vaccines give you the power to protect your children from getting sick. Immunization has had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the U.S. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a child, family, or community.
5. You can even make sure your baby is born with protection by getting vaccinated when you are pregnant. You probably know that when you are pregnant, you share everything with your baby. That means when you get vaccinated, you aren’t just protecting yourself — you are passing some protection on to your baby in the first few months of life when they are too young to build immunity on their own.
6. Vaccines aren’t just for kids. They can help adults stay healthy too — especially if they have health conditions. Even if you got all your vaccines as a child, the protection from some vaccines can wear off over time. You may also be at risk for other diseases due to your age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions. Adults with chronic conditions like asthma/COPD, heart disease, and diabetes are more likely to get complications from certain diseases. 

Comments are closed.