August is the perfect time to remind family, friends, co-workers, and those in the community to catch up on their vaccinations. Parents are enrolling their children in school, students are entering college, people are traveling, and healthcare workers are preparing for the upcoming flu season.
Why are immunizations important?
Immunization is one of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century. Vaccines have eliminated wild poliovirus and smallpox in the United States, and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases. But despite these efforts, people in the U.S. still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases. By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines, individuals can protect themselves, their families and friends and their communities from life-threatening infections.
Who should be immunized?
Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting community effort regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background or country of origin. Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue throughout life. Being aware of the vaccines that are recommended for infants, children, adolescents, adults and seniors, and making sure that we receive these immunizations, are critical to protecting ourselves and our communities.
When are immunizations given?
Because children are particularly vulnerable to infection, most vaccines are given during the first five to six years of life. Other immunizations are recommended during adolescent or adult years and, for certain vaccines, booster immunizations are recommended throughout life. Vaccines against certain diseases that may be encountered when traveling outside of the U.S. are recommended for travelers to specific regions of the world.
How do I get more information?
For more information about vaccines, the diseases they prevent, and to obtain current vaccination schedules for adults and children please call the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at 847-8821 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us in person on the 3rd level of Ambulatory Care Center at the UVM Medical Center’s Campus. For international travelers please contact the UVM Medical Center’s Travel Medicine Clinic at 847-4594. If you are due for a vaccine or have more specific questions please contact your primary care physician.
The information above was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Please click on the link below for more information: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm
Kristine Zaker is an Educator in the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center