Medical research has advanced tremendously over the years, and new measures have been developed to prevent us from suffering from diseases. Immunizations are part and parcel of this preventative process, and August is celebrated as National Immunization Awareness Month. Let’s take a look at this in a little bit more detail.
Why National Immunization Awareness Month?
The purpose of National Immunization Awareness Month is to raise public awareness regarding the availability and uses of vaccines in preventing disease. Contrary to popular belief, immunizations are not just for children; many adults also benefit from immunizations. Diseases do not differentiate, and many diseases that affect children also affect adults. However, clinical symptoms can vary, and given the limited immunity that children have early in life, diseases can manifest in a more severe form in them. Vaccines have been designed keeping this in mind, and most immunizations offered these days are administered in the first few years of life.
Awareness has risen significantly since the advent of vaccines, and studies have shown that over 85% of parents now get their children immunized on time.
In the western world, children are vaccinated against conditions such as measles, mumps and rubella. In tropical countries, diseases such as tuberculosis are still prevalent, and the BCG vaccine is available to counteract this. In countries such as India, polio vaccine is available to infants and young children to prevent polio. The vaccine has been so successful, polio has been virtually eradicated!
In general, the common vaccines that children receive include the MMR vaccine, polio vaccine and pertussis vaccine.
In adults, conditions such as hepatitis B can occur from exposure to infected blood products. This is particularly common in healthcare personnel, and the hepatitis B vaccination can adequately protect the individual from infection. Booster doses can keep immunity levels high.
Recently, the flu vaccine has become part and parcel of healthcare. It is administered to individuals of all ages, particularly the elderly who tend to contract the flu virus commonly during winter.
The advantages of vaccines
Vaccines can prevent a host of diseases that if contracted can result in complications and a strong negative impact on a person’s health. Vaccines are rigorously tested before they are administered to humans, and are a perfectly safe way to prevent diseases. In addition, they are an inexpensive way to prevent infection and diseases, which can save the economy a significant amount of money that would have instead been spent on treating these diseases.
Making the most of National Immunization Awareness Month
As a part of National Immunization Awareness Month, it is most certainly worthwhile speaking to friends and family about how important you think vaccination is. Ensure that the word is spread around, and that people are taking the right steps to ensure that their loved ones are receiving their vaccines on time and as scheduled.
National Immunization Awareness Month is aimed at one ultimate goal – to reduce diseases by promoting vaccination. Education is key, and talking about it can prevent disease safely and effectively.