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NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION AWARENESS MONTH: WHY VACCINATE?

Every year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) promotes August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and Team1Medical Staffing has selected NIAM as the team’s campaign to support this month. Although few people actually enjoy getting shots, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to your health, the health of those you love, and the health of your coworkers. According to the CDC, “Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.”1 Be aware

Team1Medical is celebrating this great accomplishment by encouraging awareness of the real-life implications that vaccinating has for our team.

Proper immunization impacts our modern society in very real ways. Polio is just one example of the many serious diseases which are no longer common in the U.S. due to the prevalence of vaccinations. Due to the polio vaccination, current cases of polio in the U.S. can be described as a handful. This is a dramatic decrease from the epidemic-like number of cases of polio and deaths prior to the vaccine being widely available.2 These vaccinations cause a ripple effect. Immunizations not only prevent an individual from contracting diseases, but individuals who have been immunized cannot spread the diseases to individuals who cannot receive vaccinations.

There are a number of reasons why some individuals can not be vaccinated. The very young, the elderly and those individuals with weakened immune systems may be unable to receive certain vaccinations, and they depend on the rest of us to stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. Beginning in childhood, proper immunization can prevent a myriad of viruses spreading from diphtheria to varicella.

Different people need different immunizations, depending on heath and history. The CDC provides four categories of individuals with corresponding suggested vaccinations. Those categories are pregnant women, babies and young children, pre-teens and teens, and adults. Vaccinations for school-age children, from pre-school to college, are particularly important to prevent the spread of diseases, and these vaccinations are sometimes required by your state or institution.

For example, one common and yearly vaccination is for influenza which is also known as the flu. The vaccination for this virus changes yearly with the virus itself. Flu season is about to be upon us, and being vaccinated for the flu by the end of October, if you are healthy enough, is the best way to ensure that you will stay healthy. Receiving the flu vaccination will also ensure everyone you come into contact with will stay healthy as well as the flu is highly contagious. The virus can be spread to people up to six feet away and beginning one day before symptoms appear and up to seven days after becoming sick. Those unable to receive vaccinations, some elderly and those with weakened immune systems, are usually those who are at the highest risk of complications when sick with the flu.3

Disclaimer: This blog is in no way to substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor. Please see a medical professional if you have any concerns or issues regarding your health and vaccinations. Below are resources that can assist you in educating yourself about immunizations.

1 http://www.cdc.gov/about/history/tengpha.htm

2 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/salk-announces-polio-vaccine

3 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Read more about Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio vaccine:
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/salk-announces-polio-vaccine

Take the CDC’s Adult Vaccination Quiz to find out what you may need to do to get up to date: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/AdultQuiz

Below are links for more information from the CDC:
National Immunization Awareness Month Page
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam.html

2016 Immunization Schedules for Children, Adolescents and Adults
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

Parent-Friendly Vaccine Website
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html

National Infant Immunization Week Resources
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html

Adult Vaccination
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/index.html

Vaccines for Pregnant Women
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/pregnant.html

Pregnancy and Whooping Cough
http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/index.html

Seasonal Influenza Resources
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/freeresources/

Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/patient-ed/conversations/index.html

CDC: Spanish Language Immunization Website
www.cdc.gov/spanish/inmunizacion/index.html

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