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National Immunization Awareness Month

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Thursday, August 2, 2018/Categories: Health

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month.  Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.  Vaccines protect against serious diseases, and vaccines are very safe. 

With the grant funding from the CDC and NYS Department of Health, Niagara County Department of Health’s Immunization Program strives to educate the community about the importance of immunizations, with a focus on HPV vaccine or other vaccines with low or lagging coverage levels.  Staff conducts training and technical assistance visits to county schools to provide guidance on NYS school immunization requirements.  They also hold conferences and training sessions for healthcare providers to improve immunization coverage to individuals of all ages.

  • Babies & Young Children – Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach 2 years of age.  It is very important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time.  The CDC recommends children receive a yearly flu vaccine after six months of age.  Unvaccinated children are not only at increased risk for disease, but they can also spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classroom and communities.
  • Preteens and Teens – Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:
  1. Meningococcal vaccine to protect against meningitis and bloodstream infections (septicemia).
  2. HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
  3. Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).
  4. A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
  • Pregnant Women – Vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy.  Pregnant women should get the pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, vaccine during pregnancy.  They should also get the flu vaccine during pregnancy if they have not already received the flu vaccine for the current influenza season prior to pregnancy.  These vaccines protect the mother and her baby by preventing illnesses and complications.  Getting vaccinated during pregnancy also allows the mother to pass some protection on to her baby.
  • Adults – All adults should get the flu vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu.  Every adult should get one dose of Tdap vaccine if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster every ten years.  Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine.  Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive pneumococcal vaccines.  Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV) depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical condition and vaccinations they have already received.
  • Back to School – Ready for school?  Make sure those vaccine records are up to date! 

See at-a-glance vaccination schedule here:  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html

If you have questions regarding routine or recommended immunizations, immunizations required for travel outside the country, or if you would like to make an appointment to attend an immunization clinic, call the immunization program at (716) 278-1903.

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