Public Health Column: August is Immunization Awareness Month
From the Genesee County Health Department:
With the summer winding down, it’s time to get back in the swing of school and schedules. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new daycare, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccine records.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to help protect their children’s health,” said Paul Pettit, Genesee & Orleans Public Health director.
August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. Today’s vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox. Because of advances in medical science, your children and family can be protected against more diseases than ever before.
Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated.
“Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent several diseases," Pettit said. "They not only protect vaccinated individuals but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.”
Childcare facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to disease outbreaks. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes and other factors related to interacting in crowded environments.
Babies and children are not the only ones who need protection against vaccine preventable diseases. Parents and caretakers need to be protected by vaccines as well to stay healthy for their family and community.
Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations, medical conditions, and vaccines received in the past. For more information about the recommended vaccines for each age group visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
Information on NYS Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance click here.
For information about Health Department services contact:
Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website here.