August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The goal of National Immunization Awareness Month is to increase awareness about immunizations across the lifespan, from infants to the elderly. August is an ideal time to make sure everyone is up-to-date on vaccines before heading back to school. 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 before their second birthday.

Vaccines are not just for children. Immunizations are needed throughout life to stay healthy. Everyone age 6 months and older should have a flu shot every year. And every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent, to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, and diphtheria, and then a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster every 10 years.

Even healthy adults can become seriously ill, and can pass certain illnesses on to others. Immunization is especially important for adults 60 years of age and older, and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease. Ask your doctor about vaccines to protect against shingles, pneumonia and other diseases. For more information about vaccines and vaccine recommendations, visit the National Immunization Program web site