“National Immunization Month”

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“National Immunization Month”

August is here! August is National Immunization Month (NIAM). NIAM is a yearly observance in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages from infants to elderly. The goal of NIAM is to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

This is the perfect time to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Vaccines protect us from dangerous preventable diseases like Chickenpox, Flu, Hepatitis, Measles, Mumps, Meningococcal, Pneumonia, Shingles, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio and more.  Vaccines not only help protect us and those we love from getting these diseases, they also help prevent spreading diseases to those that are unvaccinated.

Why are vaccines so important?

  • Vaccines protect against serious diseases.
  • These diseases still exist and outbreaks do occur.
  • Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives.
  • Vaccines are very safe.

Who all needs vaccines? Everyone!

Although most people know what vaccines are, not everyone understands how they work. Vaccines contain dead or weakened germs that stimulate our immune systems to react as if the germs were a full illness. Once exposed to a specific illness’s germs, our bodies remember how to fight them off, and we become immune to that illness.

There are different types of vaccines, including:

  • Attenuated (weakened): Live viruses are used in some vaccines, known as attenuated vaccines. One example of an attenuated vaccine is the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Killed (inactivated): An inactivated vaccine, or killed vaccine, uses viruses or bacteria that were grown in a culture and have lost their ability to produce disease. One example is the inactivated polio vaccine, also known as IPV.
  • Toxoid: Toxoid vaccines contain a toxin or poison that has been made harmless, but stimulates an immune response in the body. For example, the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines are toxoid vaccines.
  • Conjugate: A conjugate vaccine contains parts of bacteria combined with proteins. The Hib vaccine, which protects against a bacteria that can cause illnesses such as meningitis, is an example of a conjugate vaccine.

Remember to talk with your physician or other healthcare professional to find out which vaccines are recommended for you at your next medical appointment, and be sure to keep track of your vaccines. Keep in mind, vaccines are the best defense we have against these and other serious diseases, and it’s important to make sure that you’re up to date on all recommended vaccines. Use National Immunization Awareness Month as your chance to make sure that all your vaccinations are current!


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