Don’t procrastinate, vaccinate! One of the most important things parents can do to help ensure their baby’s long-
term health is to make certain that all of their child’s immunizations are complete and up-to-date. But vaccinations are not just for infants, they are for everyone―young children, preteens and teens, and
adults of all ages.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure that all of their immunizations are up-to-date. NIAM is sponsored by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC).
At Connexion Healthcare, we want to spread the word about the importance of immunizations to help keep all members of our communities safe against serious and sometimes deadly communicable illnesses.
Immunizations should begin at birth. Babies and young children are especially vulnerable and need protection from as many as 14 diseases, including hepatitis B, diphtheria, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox (varicella), and whooping cough. Women planning to become pregnant need to keep their immunizations up-to-date, and pregnant women need to be immunized against certain serious illnesses such as whooping cough to protect both their baby and themselves. Adults should also be vaccinated for the flu (every year), tetanus (every 10 years), pneumococcal disease, meningococcal disease, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Any adults who did not receive hepatitis A and B and chickenpox vaccinations during childhood, and older adults without evidence of immunity against chickenpox, should be vaccinated for these diseases now. Your doctor will recommend which immunizations you need based on your age and medical history.
August is the perfect time for everyone to complete or update their immunizations because not only is the new school year right around the corner, but winter, otherwise known as “flu season,” is not far behind. The flu can be a serious disease, even for young, otherwise healthy people. During each week of August, NIAM will focus on a specific age range, as shown below, emphasizing that people of all ages can benefit from vaccines. Links are also provided to CDC Web sites for easy-to-read immunization schedules.
|Pregnant women||August 8-14||www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/
|Preteens and teens||August 21-28||www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/
Some Americans believe that vaccines are not safe, and many believe immunizations should not be mandatory. However, thanks to immunizations, many diseases that were quite common in the past are now rare or are becoming rare, and millions of lives have been saved over the years. In fact, the morbidity for all but one of the vaccine-preventable diseases has been reduced by at least 80% since the use of vaccines began, and for some diseases has decreased by more than 99% (for diphtheria, measles, mumps, and rubella) and even by 100% (for polio and smallpox).
Preventive action is the smartest way to ensure both your own safety and the safety of those you love. Encourage your friends and family to be proactive against infectious diseases. To educate yourself about your required immunizations, you can go online to the CDC Web site and complete the fast, simple, 8-question “Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Quiz” at www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/?s_cid=bb-adults-adultquiz-025.
About Connexion Healthcare
Connexion Healthcare is a full-service global provider of strategic medical and scientific communications with decades of experience providing exceptional service to the pharmaceutical industry. We provide services through 2 Centers of Excellence—Oncology and Rare Disease—and possess core expertise in these therapeutic areas and their marketplaces. We synthesize scientifically complex information and distill it into focused and highly compelling programs. In addition, we develop communication platforms that effectively influence clinical behavior and drive strategic initiatives forward. Our esteemed medical directors and content development team, along with an accounts team rooted in science and best practices, are poised and ready to support brands anytime from phase 2 development on.
For more information on how Connexion Healthcare can assist you, please contact:
Susan Stein, MPH