National Immunization Awareness Month
- August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This
observance provides the opportunity to remind the community of the importance
of immunization. Make sure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their
- 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.
- 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.
- Maintaining high immunization rates protects the entire community by
interrupting the transmission of disease-causing bacteria or viruses. This
reduces the risk that unimmunized people will be exposed to disease-causing
agents. This type of protection is known as community or herd immunity, and
embodies the concept that protecting the majority with safe, effective
vaccines also protects those who cannot be immunized for medical reasons.
Source: National Partnership for Immunization (www.partnersforimmunization.org)
For more, please visit the following MedicineNet.com areas:
Last Editorial Review: 8/1/2005