Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Aug. 17, 2009

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Are You Up-to Date on Your Immunizations?

The Oswego County Health Department joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. Their goal is to emphasize 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,” stated Dr. Dennis Norfleet, 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.

Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting community effort. Being aware of the vaccines that are recommended for infants, children, adolescents, and adults of all ages, and making sure that we receive these immunizations, are critical to protecting ourselves and our communities from disease. 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, their friends and their communities from serious, life-threatening infections,” added 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 Office at 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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