August marks back to school time when a majority of children across the United States head back for another semester of learning. Coincidentally, this also marks a starting point for cold and flu season to begin. The month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month which exists to remind parents and adults in general about the importance of immunizing. This couldn’t be a better month for this reminder since many children gain illnesses from the children they interact with at school on a daily basis.
What is National Immunization Awareness Month?
NIAM is the entire month of August and it solely exists to bring awareness to the importance of immunizations across all ages. As people are educated on the ins and outs of immunizations, not only do they ensure their immunizations are up to date, but they ensure those around them are as well. Information is spread and lives are saved. Immunizations aren’t just for infants, they’re for all ages and cover a plethora of issues that don’t have to be a problem.
Facts About NIAM
The facts that back NIAM and the focus of the entire month are important to make note of.
#1: Immunizations are one of the most effective ways to fight infectious diseases no matter the age.
#2: Vaccines exist for over 20 preventable diseases. In other words, receive the vaccine and you don’t have to worry about working through a disease you could possibly catch at some point in your life.
#3: Vaccines have reduced or eradicated multiple diseases or illnesses within the United States.
#4: Vaccines are a safe option and scientists are continuously focusing on making better and better options for immunizations.
#5: Suggested childhood vaccines give 90-100% immunity to the illnesses they cover.
There are a ton more facts that could be listed, but you get the idea behind the passion that pushes National Immunization Awareness Month.
How Can I Help?
The best way you can help is to make sure that you and your loved ones are up to date on all your vaccines. Even if you had a certain vaccine back when you were younger, you may need a booster shot to update it. Check with your doctor to see what you might be behind on. Further, speak with friends, family, coworkers, etc. about the importance of immunizations and if they’ve updated theirs recently. You can go to the official government website HERE and download/print any of the literature they have for the month. They have a plethora of resources that help you speak with friends and family, give you information to hand out, they provide graphics for your social media to share, they even give you photos and informational blurbs you can embed in a newsletter if you have one, etc. Overall, spreading awareness to those in your circle is the biggest help outside of being updated yourself.