Each August, the National Public Health Information Coalition sponsors the National Immunization Awareness Month as a time for people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on all their immunizations and vaccines.
Immunizations are a very important part of public health safety in infants/children, adolescents, pregnant mothers, and all adults.
Dr. Scott Wilson, a SIMED urgent care physician, goes over why people should get vaccines and what they should be getting.
INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN (0 – 6 Years Old)
Starting early with infants and young children, getting vaccines is one of the ways to protect a child’s health and well-being.
Children in daycare, pre-school, kindergarten and elementary school are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Immunizations are a way to help protect each child against various diseases.
Vaccines for infants and young children prevent against diseases including:
Hepatitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Influenza, Chicken pox and Meningitis
View the CDC vaccination schedule recommended for infants to 6 year olds.
PRETEENS AND ADOLESCENTS (7 - 18 Years Old)
As children enter their pre-teen and adolescent years, vaccines will boost their immunity to diseases of both childhood and adulthood. Many of the immunizations given during this time frame are booster vaccines to help “beef up” the pre-teen and adolescents’ immunity to infectious disease.
Vaccines for preteens and adolescents prevent against diseases including:
Polio, Whooping Cough, Measles, Hepatitis, Influenza, Diphtheria
View the CDC vaccination schedule recommended for 7 year olds to 18 year olds.
In pregnant women, there are certain types of immunizations that are important to help prevent infections for both the mother and developing baby.
During pregnancy, the mother will pass on some immunity to the developing baby to help protect the infant before it can develop its own immunity. Even after pregnancy, mothers should be careful to stay current with their vaccinations.
Vaccinations can protect both mothers and children from serious diseases that can cause birth defects and even miscarriages.
View the CDC vaccination schedule for pregnant women.
ADULTHOOD (19 Years Old and Older)
In adulthood, immunizations are important for the continued prevention of infectious disease but there are also immunizations that are recommended for adults with certain underlying diseases. These include Lung Disease (Asthma, COPD), Diabetes, Heart Disease, Liver Disease, HIV/AIDS and Kidney Disease, as individuals with these conditions are at higher risk for developing certain infectious diseases and tend to have more serious complications.
As a general rule, make sure you’re getting a flu vaccine every year, a Td booster shot every 10 years and a Tdap vaccine to protect against whooping cough if you haven’t already.
View the CDC vaccination schedule for (a) adults 19-26 years old, (b) adults with certain health conditions and (c) adults over the age of 60.
In a world where the future is unknown, you can best protect yourself and your family from serious infectious diseases by simply talking with your doctor about getting your vaccines on a routine schedule recommended by the CDC. If your doctor does not have certain vaccines, your local health department is an excellent resource for your immunization needs.
Let’s make every August National Immunization Awareness Month and take the time to discuss our immunization status with our medical providers and make sure we are up to date on all of our vaccines. Remember as Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If you need vaccines or would like a checkup, contact a SIMED Primary Care doctor in our Gainesville, Ocala, Chiefland, Lady Lake or McIntosh today. Call (352) 224-2225 or schedule your appointment online.
To schedule an urgent care appointment with Dr. Wilson in Gainesville, call (352) 373-2340 or request an appointment online.