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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

August 3, 2021

National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held in August. It highlights the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages. Vaccines can protect you from many potential illnesses.

One of the things you may have learned about during the pandemic is the health benefits vaccinations can provide. Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of a particular organism (antigen) that triggers an immune response within your body. This weakened version will not cause the disease in the person receiving the vaccine, but it will prompt their immune system to respond much as it would have on its first reaction to the actual pathogen.

So, let’s take a closer look at what immunizations are all about and the types of immunizations you might need depending on your age.

What Is Immunization?

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, immunization is a  process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.

Does The Immunization Schedule Ever Change?

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meets three times a year to review the latest scientific research and make any necessary changes to the childhood vaccination schedule. The CDC officially sets the schedule based on ACIP’s recommendations, and the schedule is also approved by organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP).

Which Immunizations Do You Need?

The Ohio Department of Health’s Immunization Program seeks to prevent 17 diseases with currently available vaccines. They are:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b                
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Influenza                    
  • Measles, mumps and rubella    
  • Meningococcal  (meningitis)
  • Pneumococcal  (pneumonia)  
  • Polio                                        
  • Rotavirus                                
  • Varicella  (chicken pox)
  • Zoster (shingles- adults only)

The CDC publishes a new immunization schedule for babies and adolescents every year. It includes a “catch-up” chart for children who may have missed a vaccination, and there’s even a chart for adults.

How To Get Involved In National Immunization Awareness Month

The CDC’s website contains information and toolkits you can use to get information about immunizations and National Immunization Awareness Month.

You’ll find things like:

  • Key messaging
  • Infographics
  • Videos

There are not only items that parents and children can learn from, but you’ll also find resources for healthcare professionals. They’re designed to improve your vaccine recommendation, effectively addressing questions about vaccines, and ensuring a consistent message throughout the office.

If you think you may be due for a vaccine, you can check the immunization schedule or talk to your doctor. Your doctor will have all the information you need to make sure you are up to date.

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