Area health officials are using this month to remind people to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations.
August is National Immunization Month.
District Two Public Health Spokesperson Dave Palmer said vaccines are an important step in protecting against serious diseases.
“We want to make sure that everyone gets immunized against those illnesses that can be prevented,” said Palmer. “This just helps keep the whole population healthy when we are able not to be sick.”
Palmer also said that children at all ages will need to be up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations as schools head back into session.
“We hope that everyone who is starting school this year in kindergarten has their immunizations and is up to date,” said Palmer. “We would also like to remind parents that there are some immunizations that are required as kids are entering middle school, so they need to make sure that those immunizations are done. Also, for seniors in high school who just graduated and are starting college this fall, there are other immunizations that could be required for college attendance.”
For example, children who are four to six years old are due boosters for four vaccines; DTaP, which covers diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis or whooping cough; chickenpox; MMR, which covers measles, mumps, and rubella; and polio.
Older children, like teens and pre-teens may need Tdap; which covers tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis; as well as MCV and HPV vaccines.
Palmer went on to say that adults also need vaccinations throughout their lives in order to help stay healthy.
According to Palmer, the Tdap vaccine is one adults need to keep in mind.
“It is a one-time vaccination for adults,” said Palmer. “That of course, protects young children against getting whooping cough if adults are vaccinated for that illness and of course, the tetanus vaccine, if you get a cut or any type of injury to your skin, that (vaccine) protects against tetanus.”
He said, however, there is another important vaccine for adults.
“There is the new shingles vaccine that has been out for several years that protects against shingles and if anyone has had the chickenpox, they could possibly get shingles sometime in their lifetime, so that is an important vaccine as well,” said Palmer.
Palmer said anyone needing to get vaccinations or who has any questions about vaccines should check with their doctor or their local health department.
People can also go online for more information at www.cdc.gov/vaccines.