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National Immunization Awareness Month is a Reminder….

Bowling Green, Ohio – To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives the Wood County Health District is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them.

 

“National Immunization Awareness Month provides a valuable opportunity to highlight the important role immunizations play in protecting people of all ages from serious diseases,” said Jennifer Campos, health educator. “Vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely harmed or killed many infants, children, and adults.”

WCHD Immunization Nurse KathyTeeple

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. In the United States, vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines.

 

“Vaccine preventable diseases are quite literally only a plane ride away,” said Campos. Many vaccine preventable diseases are still common in many parts of the world. For example, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while in other countries. When measles gets into communities of unvaccinated people in the U.S. (such as people who refuse vaccines for religious, philosophical or personal reasons), outbreaks are more likely to occur.

 

Immunization gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. Preteens and teens need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) vaccine, Quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. HPV is recommended at age 11 or 12 years for both boys and girls. Tdap  and meningococcal vaccines are administered for 7th grade and the meningococcal is administered for 12th grade. In addition, yearly flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months or older—not just preteens and teens, but for their parents too.

 

Vaccines are not just for kids – adults need vaccines, too. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure adults are protected against diseases like flu, whooping cough, tetanus, shingles and pneumococcal disease. The specific vaccines adults need are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, risk conditions, locations of travel, and previous vaccines. All adults should talk to their health care providers about which vaccines are right for them.

 

“There is a misconception among many adults that vaccines are just for children,” said Kathy Teeple, public health nurse.  “The truth is, you never outgrow the need for immunizations.”

 

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness, and of having a severe case,” said Teeple. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional to make sure your child is up to date on all the vaccines he or she needs.”

 

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule and where you can get immunizations at: http://woodcountyhealth.org/nursing/immunizations.html

 

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