Observe National Immunization Awareness Month in August and alert patients to the lifetime need for immunizations
Each year, thousands of persons become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by immunizations. Countless more miss time from school or work because they are not immunized as recommended. To increase awareness about the lifetime need for immunizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observes National Immunization Awareness Month during the entire Month of August and encourages physicians to remind family, friends, co-workers, and the community to catch up on their vaccinations.
The CDC counts immunization as one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century, citing that vaccines have eradicated or significantly reduced the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite these efforts, people still die from vaccine-preventable diseases. And although immunization rates are high in the United States, other countries may not have that level of protection; some vaccine-preventable diseases are only a plane trip away.
Immunization is a lifelong, life-protecting community effort. Most vaccines are given during the first five to six years of life because children are particularly vulnerable to infection. Other immunizations are recommended during adolescent or adult years. For certain vaccines, booster immunization are recommended throughout life. Vaccines against certain diseases are recommended for travelers to specific regions of the world.
To view the child and adolescent immunization schedule or the adult immunization schedule, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/schedule. To order immunization literature, go to secure.immunizetexasorderform.com. For talking points and other public relations tools, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/2009/PR-tools.htm.