August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

As parents are enrolling children in school, older students are entering college, and adults and the healthcare community are preparing for the upcoming flu season, August is a good time to focus on the value of immunizations.

We all need immunizations (also called vaccines) to help protect us from serious diseases and illness. Vaccines can prevent infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria and rubella. People in the U.S. still die from these and other preventable diseases, so it’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.

Everyone over the age of 6 months needs a seasonal flu shot every year. Other shots work best when they are given at certain ages. Here are some general guidelines:

• Children need a series of shots from birth to age six to protect against measles, polio, chicken pox and hepatitis.

• Pre-teens need recommended shots to help protect against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningitis. Doctors also recommend girls get the HPV vaccine to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer.

• All adults need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years. People age 65 also need a one-time pneumonia shot.

Talk to your doctor or nurse to find out which immunizations you or your children need. Click here to view the most up-to-date immunization schedules.

Source: National Health Information Center and the CDC

Entry filed under: Managing your health, To Your Health.

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