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School Starts Soon - Is Your Child Fully Vaccinated?

National Immunization Awareness Month, immunizations, health

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Consumer Sciences

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This observance provides the opportunity to remind us of the importance of immunization. Make sure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their immunizations. In August, parents are enrolling children in school, older students are entering college and adults and the health care community are preparing for the upcoming flu season. This makes August a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunization.

Making sure that children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children's long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community.

Vaccines are responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or harmed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults.

The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctors’ visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.

Now suppose you could make your child safe from some of the most deadly diseases in history and suppose that at the same time you could also help protect your neighbors’ children and other children around the country from the same diseases and finally, suppose you could actually help to rid the world of some of these diseases that have been crippling and killing children for centuries. You can do all of these things with one of the easiest and yet most powerful health tools ever developed. You can make sure your children get their shots.

Facts:

  • Immunization prevents 2 million to 3 million deaths every year.
  • Because of immunizations, global measles mortality has declined by 74%.
  • The majority of people (more than 95%) who are vaccinated against a disease develop immunity to it. No medical advance is 100% effective.
  • Immunizations are extremely safe as a result of advances in medical research and ongoing review by doctors, researchers, and public health officials.
  • While small risks accompany every immunization, people are far more likely to be seriously harmed by vaccine-preventable diseases than by the recommended immunizations that prevent them.

There are 12 potentially serious diseases that vaccines protect against:

  • Diphtheria,
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A, and
  • Hepatitis B,
  • Measles,
  • Mumps,
  • Pertussis (Whooping Cough),
  • Pneumococcal disease,
  • Polio,
  • Rubella (German Measles),
  • Tetanus (lockjaw),
  • Varicella (Chickenpox),

At least one shot is needed for each of these diseases, and for some of them several doses are required for the best protection.

For more information on immunizations call the Health Department or contact your child’s pediatrician. You may also visit the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html

Source: www.cdc.gov

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