Immunization Awareness: Centers For Disease Control
Info For: Pregnancy · Babies/Toddlers · Children · Teens · Adults
Source: NJ Dept. of Health
National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance in August to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. All New Jersey residents encouraged to take this time to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date.
“In preparation for back-to-school, parents should speak with their health care providers to make sure their children are vaccinated,” health commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for illness and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities.”
Childhood vaccines protect against 14 serious diseases by the age of two. Vaccines protect against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), hepatitis B, varicella (chickenpox), and pneumococcal disease. New Jersey has reached the Healthy People 2020 target for polio, MMR, hepatitis B and varicella immunizations. It is also recommended that children get vaccinated against rotavirus and hepatitis A, and that everyone six months of age and older annually receive the flu vaccine.
As children grow older, they are at increased risk for meningococcal disease and infections that can lead to human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers. Additionally, some of the childhood vaccines wear off over time, so preteens and teens need booster shots to help stay protected from serious diseases like tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children who are 11 to 12 years of age receive the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap), meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to protect them during adolescence.
Immunizations are not just for kids. Every adult should get the Tdap vaccine once. Women should receive the vaccine during each pregnancy to protect their babies against whooping cough. Adults should receive a Td booster shot every 10 years. Tdap may be given as one of these boosters if the individual has not already gotten a dose.
Adults 60 years of age and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. There are two different vaccines that are recommended to help protect older adults against pneumococcal disease. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain high risk conditions are also recommended to receive pneumococcal vaccinations. Adults may need other vaccines – such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B and HPV – depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions and vaccinations they have already received or other considerations.
In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, the NJ Department of Health encourages health professionals to organize and participate in activities that promote the importance of immunizations.
The New Jersey Immunization Network (NJIN) represents 180 organizations co-founded and led by the New Jersey American Academy of Pediatrics (NJAAP) and the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP). Its mission is to protect the health of all individuals through timely, age-appropriate immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases by educating the public, healthcare professionals, and policy makers about vaccine safety and benefits.