been designated National Immunization Awareness Month. The goal of National
Immunization Awareness Month is to increase awareness about immunizations
across the life span, from infants to the elderly.
Sandy Sommer, RN Clinical Services Supervisor with the Health Department
states, "August is the perfect time to remind family, friends, co-workers,
and those in the community to catch up on their vaccinations. Parents are
enrolling their children in school, students are entering college, and
healthcare workers are preparing for the upcoming flu season."
Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements
of the 20th century. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild
poliovirus in the US and significantly reduced the number of cases of
measles, diptheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases. But despite
these efforts, today tens of thousands of people in the US still die from
these and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases.
By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines, individuals can protect
themselves, their families and friends and their communities from serious,
Sommer adds, "Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting community
effort regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background or country of origin.
Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue throughout
life. Being aware of the vaccines that are recommended for infants,
children, adolescents, adults of all ages and seniors, and making sure that
we receive these immunizations, are critical to protecting ourselves and our
communities from disease."
Because children are particularly vulnerable to infection, most vaccines
are given during the first five to six years of life. Other immunizations
are recommended during adolescent or adult years and, for certain vaccines,
booster vaccination are recommended throughout life. Vaccines against
certain diseases that may be encountered when traveling outside the US are
recommended for travelers to specific regions of the world.
The Health Department Clinical services staff reminds area residents
that immunizations can be obtained through the Health Departments' clinic
offices in Kewanee and Colona by appointment. For more information on the
Health Departments' Immunization program call the Department at (309)
852-5272 (Kewanee) 852-3115 (Stark) or 792-4011(Colona) or visit our website
at www.henrystarkhealth.com or find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County