August is Vaccine Awareness Month
To stay protected against serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia, adults need to get their shots just like kids do. Immunization helps prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.
Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy or other visits with healthcare providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation or health conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes or heart disease.
Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants and young children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.
Primary care providers should:
- Educate pregnant women about getting vaccinated to protect newborns from diseases like whooping cough (pertussis)
- Encourage parents of young children to get recommended immunizations by age two
- Help parents make sure older children, preteens, and teens have received all recommended vaccines by the time they go back to school
- Remind college students to catch up on immunizations before they move into dormitories
- Educate adults, including healthcare workers, about vaccines and boosters they may need
- Remind everyone that the next flu season is only a few months away