Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Although August is designated the official month to create awareness for immunizations, everyone has been made more aware of the importance of vaccinations due to the pandemic for the past year. However, this month’s goal is to also highlight the many educational resources available. Knowledge is power, and patients will be able to communicate more effectively with their healthcare professionals when inquiring about vaccines.

Who Should Get Vaccinated?

Everyone is at risk for different diseases and vaccinations are the safest preventative care measure. Adults need to remember to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Unfortunately, along with age comes the probability of contracting an illness of some sort. Sometimes the body does not have the capability to fight it off like when it was younger, so extra care measures should be taken if available.

It is recommended that everyone 6-month-old and older get a flu vaccine every season. However, a trusted physician will make the appropriate suggestion based on a patient’s health history. Some individuals who are at high risk of developing flu-related complications will be advised differently.

What Kind of Vaccine

There are numerous reasons to get an influenza (flu) vaccine each year. But because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, getting a flu vaccine during 2020-2021 will be more important than ever before. The vaccine will not prevent COVID-19, but it will most definitely reduce the number of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. These vaccines have been found to be safe and effective. Millions of people have received them under the safety guidelines and monitoring of the CDC.

Why Get a Vaccine

The benefits for getting an influenza vaccination outweigh the risks for those healthy enough to receive one. They reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, missed work, school, and activities, as well as hospitalizations and deaths.

When to Get Vaccinated

Since it takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection, be sure to plan accordingly when scheduling before flu season begins. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early (in July or August) is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults.

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