NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH
National Immunization Month is in August. It’s also the beginning of back-to-school preparations and a good time to make sure your children are properly vaccinated before they head back to school.
There is no one preventive health measure more important than immunization. As the World Health Organization notes, the international medical community has endorsed the use of vaccines and immunization to prevent and control a number of infectious diseases, as well as chronic diseases caused by “infectious agents.” Vaccinating your child can avoid suffering and death associated with afflictions like diarrhea, measles, pneumonia, polio and whooping cough. The American Academy of Pediatrics says vaccines are 99% effective. Every vaccine goes through a series of tests before being approved to ensure safety. Vaccines are necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Some diseases that many had thought eradicated have reappeared, as polio did in Venezuela in 2018. Vaccines are studied intensively by the FDA, the CDC and many other organizations that vigilantly in keep watch over existing vaccines for possible complications.
Herd immunity is when a certain percent of immunized people in a community reaches a level where everyone (including those who are too young or too sick to be immunized) get some degree of protection. It’s important that as many people as possible get immunized. It’s very risky to the health of other children to rely on herd immunity to protect your non-immunized child. By forgetting or opting to skip booster vaccinations, you are undercutting the effectiveness of herd immunity for both your own family and the community at large.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Check with your doctor about the vaccination needs for your family. Find out how to spread the word about the importance of vaccination and immunization in your community. Use #NationalImmunizationAwarenessMonth in social media correspondence.
The Centers for Disease Control says National Immunization Month was founded by the National Public Health Information Coalition “to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.”