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Health Department Notes - Ensure a healthy future with vaccines

National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages and to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community.

Vaccination is a highly effective, easy way to keep the entire family healthy. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions. Vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe and effective for the recommended age group.

Each stage of a child’s life from infant through the teen years, have specific guidelines for the recommended vaccines. While parents are busy keeping up with their child’s vaccines, they should not forget about themselves. Yearly flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months or older, not just preteens and teens, but for their parents too. Adults need a tetanus vaccine every ten years and healthy adults 50 years and older should get a shingles vaccine. There are other recommended adult vaccines based on health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a new interactive guide during National Immunization Awareness Month. The digital tool helps families navigate information about recommended vaccines from birth through adulthood. Click through various stages of life to learn about vaccine-preventable diseases, like the flu, whooping cough, and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) cancers, and the recommended timing for key immunizations. Help raise awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases and encourage everyone to follow the recommended immunization schedule. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/growing/ to learn more or talk to your doctor or nurse to find out which immunizations you need. For more information, call 873-4541.

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