Tag Archives: immunizations


An important observance  during  August – National Immunization Awareness Month,  provides the opportunity to remind the entire community of the importance of immunization.  The most important responsibility school children’s parents have is to be sure that their kids’ vaccinations are current.  College students, adults and the entire community need to pay attention to the value of immunization.  Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or harmed tens of thousands of infants, children, and adults.  

Each year, approximately 200,000 American citizens are hospitalized because of influenza.  An average of 36,000 persons die annually due to influenza and its complications.  Most are people 65 years of age and over.  Annually, there are approximately 40,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in the U.S. and one-third of these cases occur in people 65 and older.  About half of the 5,000 annual deaths from invasive pneumococcal disease occur in the elderly.  The entire community can be protected through high immunization rates because this interrupts the transmission of disease-causing bacteria or viruses.  Persons who are immunized are also protecting those people who cannot be immunized for medical reasons. 

Since 1994, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program has allowed eligible children to receive vaccinations as part of routine care.  The VFC program provides publicly purchased vaccines for use by all participating providers.  They are given to eligible children without cost to the provider or the parent.  The VFC program provides immunizations for children who are uninsured, Medicaid recipients and others that can be given at their doctors’ offices.  VFC also provides immunizations at participating federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics.  The program has contributed to high immunization rates and thus reduced delays in immunizations and, subsequently, the risk of serious illness or death from vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Free immunizations have already begun, in order for parents to have their school children ready to walk into classrooms the very first day of school.  Every year, many parents have failed to do so, only to be angry that their child cannot be registered to attend school until they have had their shots.  When free protection is offered, there’s no reason to delay.  Children who have received their vaccinations have a greater chance for not missing school due to sickness, which in turn, helps their parents avoid missing work. 

Take the time now to get school children up-to-date on their immunizations.  Adults, start thinking about getting your flu shot, as the season will soon be here.   We are fortunate to live in an age where so many devastating illnesses have been eradicated.  The Centers for Disease Control’s National Immunization Program (NIP) strives to prevent disease, disability, and death in children and adults through vaccination.  NIP is committed to promoting immunization at every stage of life, providing leadership on vaccines and immunization, strengthening and communicating immunization science, providing immunization education and information, and improving health in the U.S. and globally.

Source: CDC


August is designated by the Centers for Disease Control as National Immunization Awareness Month.  Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the CDC’s  National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases states, “Immunization is one of the single most important steps parents can take to help assure their children grow up to be strong and healthy.”  

Communities and cities are already reminding parents through the media such as newspapers, radio, and television  to take their children for the immunization shots now, to be ready for the beginning of school.  Because of the fact that so many people wait until the last minute, schools are announcing that children will not be admitted without proof that they have received the proper vaccines.  It is hard to understand why parents procrastinate about taking their children for these vaccines, when in many cases, there is no cost to them. 

Here is a list furnished by the CDC of preventable diseases for children, thanks to vaccines:

  • Diptheria
  • Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal Mumps
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Pneumonossis
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)

Some adults think that vaccines that they got when they were children will protect them for the rest of their lives, but consider these factors:

  • Some never were vaccinated as children;
  • Newer vaccines were not available when they were children;
  • Immunizations may have faded over time;
  • With age, we become more susceptible to serious disease caused by common infections, (i.e., flu, pneumonia). 

It’s wise to remember that young adults to senior citizens can benefit from immunizations.  Vaccines are recommended to adolescents and adults based on factors such as age, health status and medical history.  Some vaccines are vital to most adults, especially senior citizens.  Others are not appropriate for persons with underlying health issues.  Your physician can advise you.  The following diseases can affect persons over 65 very seriously: diphtheria, Herpes Zoster (shingles), pneumonia, flu, and tetanus. 

If you plan to travel outside the United States, you need to visit with your physician at least 4 weeks prior to your vacation or business trip.  Certain vaccines take a period of time to become effective.  There are three types of vaccines in regard to travel – routine, recommended, and required.  You may be exposed to certain diseases in foreign countries that are uncommon in the U.S. 

If you have children, be sure all their shots are current.  Years ago, people died from diseases that are now preventable.  No one  enjoys getting stuck by a needle, but it’s a small price to pay for good health.