August is designated as the National Immunization Month which is an awareness campaign that aims to highlight the importance of immunizations across the different stages of life. This year, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) is responsible for coordinating the different activities. This is an ideal time to inform the public about up-to-date vaccines they need before going back to school and in order to plan ahead for the future. The awareness campaign focuses on a specific population each week. The first week is for preteens and teens while the second week is for pregnant women. The third week is for adults while the fourth week is for infants and children.
Purpose of National Immunization Awareness Month
National Immunizations Awareness month aims to highlight the importance of immunization across the lifespan. It encourages everyone to protect their health through vaccination against certain infectious diseases. Here is a list of the important information in regards to vaccination that everyone should know during certain ages:
Preteen and Teen
- Those in this age group are at risk for certain diseases like meningitis and HPV cancers
- Some childhood vaccines wear off over time so they need vaccines to stay protected from serious diseases like diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
- There is higher risk of getting particular diseases like blood infection, meningitis and infections that van eventually lead to HPV cancers as children get older
- There are some vaccines that should be given during the preteen years since they provide more protection during such age (an example is HPV vaccine)
- Vaccines don’t just help protect preteens and teens from diseases, but also their brothers/sisters, friends and everyone else they come into contact with
- Vaccines are important for a healthy pregnancy
- Women should be up to date on their vaccines before they become pregnant and they are also advised to receive against the flu and whooping cough during pregnancy
- Vaccines don’t just protect the soon-to-be mother but her baby as well
- The vaccines will provide some immunity for the first few months of the baby’s life
- During pregnancy, it is important to start learning about the important vaccines that the baby will need
- In some cases, breastfeeding mothers can receive certain vaccinations
- Every adult should get vaccinated in order to protect their health
- Vaccination is especially important for older adults or those who have certain chronic illnesses
- It is important to know that the need for vaccination doesn’t end in childhood but most people are not aware of this fact
- Vaccines recommended for adults each year is updated by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices based on research
- There are thousands of adults in the United States that suffer, are hospitalized or even die from diseases that are preventable by vaccines
- The vaccines recommended for adults include influenza, pneumonia (pneumococcal bacteria), shingles, hepatitis and whooping cough
Infants and Children
- It is imperative to follow the recommended immunization schedule recommended by your family physician
- Vaccines enable parents to protect their children from 14 serious diseases before they reach 2 years of age
- Vaccines offer the best protection against serious illnesses
- There is a catch-up immunization schedule for those who fall behind the recommended schedule
What You Can Do On National Immunization Awareness Month?
- Use social media to spread awareness (share this article!)
- Contact your local newspaper, television station and radio station to help spread awareness about the importance of immunization
- Display posters and other informative materials regarding immunization
- Create an activity like a symposium for increasing immunization awareness
- Make sure your family members and friends are informed about the importance of immunization
Message on National Immunization Awareness Month
Immunizations help in the prevention of dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases. It is also important for preteens, teens and adults to get their shots just like infants. This is the time to educate ourselves on the different vaccines that are needed across the lifespan.
Special Tips on National Immunization Awareness Month
You need to consult your physician about the important vaccines for your family. However, it is also important to do your own research and get up-to-date information from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Each year during the month of August, National Immunization Awareness Month occurs which is the time for highlighting the importance of immunization across the lifespan. Most people are unaware of the fact that even teenagers and adults need certain shots in order to prevent infectious diseases.