August is National Immunization Awareness Month (Part 2)

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (Part 2)
Immunization is essential to avoid infectious diseases from spreading. Learn why it is crucial to celebrate the National Immunization Awareness Month annually.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, immunizations are one of the top ten public health accomplishments of the 20th century. This is because it has helped save millions of lives since its inception. Now it has been decided that the month of August be dedicated to celebrating the National Immunization Awareness Month. In the previous article, we have discussed the first of the four weekly themes that have been set for August. Here is the second to the fourth weekly themes.

August 10 to 16: Back to School

People can focus on a vaccine that can prevent cancer, which is the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. Doctors are encouraged to use this week as an opportunity to prevent ovarian cancer by strengthening recommendations for the HPV vaccine.

The Challenge

The three-dose HPV vaccine has managed to cover around 37% of eligible individuals nationally. There are still plenty of missed opportunities for getting vaccines. Governmental and medical institutions such as the CDC, AAP, and AAFP highly recommend that children aged 11 to 12 year-olds receive vaccines for HPV, meningococcemia, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. If we allow the rates to remain as they are now, then countless children and will go developing oral, cervical, anal, and other similar HPV-related cancers.

What can healthcare providers do?

Perhaps the most important factor in helping parents decide to vaccinate their children with the HPV vaccine is a strong recommendation from the child’s healthcare provider. Doctors can increase the rate of people getting vaccines just by changing the words they use to introduce and eventually recommend the HPV vaccine makes a noticeable difference.

August 17 to 23: Off to the Future

Vaccines were not created solely for children. In fact, immunizations are still needed throughout the years to remain healthy and disease-free. Young adults in preparation for college or their future careers should take time to review their vaccination history and determine whether they to receive any more vaccines. There are some diseases that spread rapidly in school settings such as classrooms and college dorms, which is why some universities now require vaccinations for school entry.

If a child is six months old and above, he or she should have a flu shot once a year. An adult, on the other hand, should have the Tdap vaccine at least once now, especially if they did not receive it during their adolescent years, so they have protection against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. Once the basic vaccine has been given to them, they can get a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster every ten years.

August 24 to 30: Not Just for Kids

Both children adults need to get vaccinated to protect their health. Even the most seemingly healthy adults can become sick, and pass these certain illnesses on to their friends and loved ones. When it comes to people who have reached the golden years, immunization becomes important for them, especially if they have chronic conditions like COPD, asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.

Also, if a person is in constant close contact with very young and the very old, as well as individuals with weakened immune systems and those who are not eligible for a vaccination, then getting a series of vaccinations would be the best thing to do.

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