AUGUST National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of NIAM is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.
Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious diseases before they turn 2 years old
Vaccinating your children according to the recommended schedule is one of the best ways you can protect them from 14 harmful and potentially deadly diseases like measles and whooping cough (pertussis) before their second birthday.
Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of (1) getting the disease or illness and (2) having a severe case of the disease or illness. You can’t predict or know in advance if an unvaccinated child will get a vaccine preventable disease, nor can you predict or know how severe the illness will be or become.
Vaccines don’t just protect your child. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, health care professionals and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community – especially babies who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
It's easy to think of these as diseases of the past. Most young parents in the United States have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like measles or whooping cough can have on a family or community. But the truth is they still exist.
Many vaccine-preventable diseases are still common in many parts of the world. For example, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers who are infected while in other countries. When measles gets into communities of unvaccinated people in the United States (such as people who refuse vaccines for religious, philosophical or personal reasons), outbreaks are more likely to occur.
The 2015 measles outbreak and the current measles outbreak in Minnesota are examples of how quickly infectious diseases can spread when they reach groups of people who aren’t vaccinated.
Since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 667 people from 27 states in 2014. From January 1 to May 20 2017, 100 people from 11 states were reported to have measles.
Outbreaks of whooping cough have also occurred in the United States over the past few years. There are many factors contributing to the recent increase in whooping cough, but getting vaccinated is the best way to help prevent whooping cough and its complications.
Courtesy of https://www.nphic.org/niam