July 28, 2008
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
The Oswego County Health Department joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The goal of National Immunization Awareness Month is to stress the importance of receiving routine, up-to-date immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly.
“August is the perfect time to remind family, friends, co-workers, and those in the community to catch up on their vaccinations,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Interim Public Health Director for Oswego County. “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 offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases. However, many parents lack confidence in the safety of vaccines.
Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the U.S., and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases. Parents may also believe that the diseases that vaccines protect against are rare and not that serious.
“The use of vaccines has created an environment in which certain vaccine-preventable infectious diseases are rarely seen in our country, but these diseases are still found globally in areas where vaccine use is low,” said Dr. Norfleet.
Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue throughout life. Because children are particularly vulnerable to infection, most vaccines are given during the first five to six years of life.
“By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines, individuals can protect themselves, their families and friends, and their communities from serious, life-threatening infections,” added Dr. Norfleet. “If children, adolescents, or adults have missed any shots, consult with your healthcare provider or the Oswego County Health Department about getting up-to-date.”
The Oswego County Health Department offers immunization clinics every Friday at the Oswego Public Health Clinic on 70 Bunner St. from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., and at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski on the first and third Fridays of the month from 9 to 11 a.m. For more information, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.
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