National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual acknowledgment in August to give awareness and the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.
Immunizations help prevent threatening and sometimes deadly diseases. Immunization isn’t just for kids. To stay protected against severe illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults also need to be vaccinated.
Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person who gets the vaccine, but also helps to keep diseases from spreading to family members, and others. This helps protect those who are most vulnerable to illness, such as infants, young children, elders, and those with chronic conditions or those with weak immune systems.
Parents can do numerous things to secure a healthy future for their children. One of the most important actions parents can take is to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccines. Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:
- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis and blood infections.
- HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
- TDAP vaccine to protect against Tetanus, Diphtheria, and whooping cough (Pertussis).
- A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.
The need for vaccinations does not end in childhood. All adults should get recommended vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become ill and pass diseases on to others. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, medical conditions, and vaccines received in the past. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed by a health care professional.
For Pregnant women:
Vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. There are vaccines recommended for women who may become pregnant and for women who are pregnant. Pregnant women should get the whooping cough vaccine and flu vaccine during 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. This protection provides some immunity against certain vaccine-preventable diseases during their first few months of your baby’s life, when your baby is still too young to be vaccinated.
Here are some helpful links that can help you and your family stay protected: