XENIA — Greene County Public Health (GCPH) officials are recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM).
The campaign held every August reminds citizens that vaccination can prevent serious and sometimes deadly diseases, a GCPH release said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of American adults get sick each year from diseases that vaccines can prevent. For patients with asthma or COPD, vaccines are an important step in protecting from serious diseases like influenza and pneumonia. Vaccines protect children, preteens and teens from 16 serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, the release said.
“This month is the perfect time to ensure that your child’s vaccinations are up to date as they get ready to head back to school — even though some may be going back virtually due to the pandemic,” GCPH officials said.
The purpose of NIAM is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. There are five messages that are central to the theme of NIAM:
1. Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.
2. Vaccines protect against serious diseases.
3. These diseases still exist, and outbreaks do occur.
4. Vaccines are recommended throughout our lives.
5. Vaccines are very safe.
Adult immunizations are widely available and simple to find on websites like vaccinefinder.org. Vaccines are available at doctors’ offices, public and community health clinics, pharmacies, and other community locations like schools, universities and religious centers. In Ohio, multiple sectors of the healthcare system are engaged to protect the community from harmful disease.
“Medical providers are working proactively to make vaccines available where and when kids are seen by their provider,” said Melissa Howell, health commissioner for GCPH. “A trusted healthcare provider can address parental concerns including worries about side-effects or a child with a serious medical condition.”
For individuals who still need to find a provider, online resources are available at healthfinder.gov/FindServices/. Parents can find information about recommended vaccines by visiting www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or obtain an immunization record by contacting GCPH.