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National Immunization Awareness

Posted August 31, 2017

By Mackenzie Simmons, ATC

National Immunization Awareness is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). This observance focuses on showing the importance of staying vaccinated at all ages. Vaccinations help protect against serious diseases, which still exist and outbreaks can occur. It is essential that infants receive the recommended vaccinations at birth and continue to stay up-to-date throughout their entire life.

Below is a short description of the importance of vaccinations for babies and young children, pregnant women, adults, preteens/teens and back to school.

Babies and young children

It is essential that babies and young children maintain their vaccinations, for the health and wellness of everyone. If a child is not vaccinated, he or she is at an increased risk of spreading disease to others in their daycare, playgrounds or schools. This is of a huge importance, due to the fact that unvaccinated children can spread disease to those who are too young to get vaccines or those with weakened immune systems.

Vaccine name

Disease

Description

HepB

Hepatitis B

Affects the liver and can be fatal in infants and adults

RV

Rotavirus

Virus that causes diarrhea, vomiting and fever

DTaP

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis

All are caused by bacteria and can be fatal

Hib

Haemophilus Influenzae Type B

Leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years old. It can also cause pneumonia, severe swelling in the throat and infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart

PCV

Pneumococcal Conjugate

Pneumococcal Conjugate can cause minor ear infections, but can also cause pneumonia (lungs), bacteremia (blood) and meningitis (covering of the brain and spinal cord).

IPV

Inactivated Polio Vaccine

Once the leading cause of disability in the United States

Influenza

Influenza

Recommended after a baby has turned six months old

MMR

Measles, Mumps and Rubella

Very common in young children before vaccines

Varicella to prevent chickenpox, which can have serious effects in young children and adults

HepA

Hepatitis A

Vaccine to prevent Hepatitis A, which usually shows no symptoms and can be spread very easily to unvaccinated parents or caregivers

Pregnant women

Maintaining vaccinations is important in having a healthy pregnancy.

Before Pregnancy - Women should be up-to-date on all vaccines before becoming pregnant. If a woman knows she is trying to get pregnant, she should check with her doctor to make sure she is caught up on her vaccinations.

Vaccine name

Disease

Description

MMR

Measles, Mumps and Rubella

To protect you from rubella, which can cause a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage or cause the baby to have serious birth defects, including heart defects, intellectual disability or loss of hearing/eyesight. It is important to get this vaccine at least four weeks before trying to get pregnant

During Pregnancy - Women should receive both flu and whooping cough vaccinations during pregnancy. The vaccinations will protect both the mother and the child from getting the disease. By getting the vaccinations during pregnancy, the mother is able to pass on some of the protection to her baby.

Vaccine name

Disease

Description

Influenza

Influenza

A pregnant woman is more likely to suffer from severe illness due to changes in the immune system. The flu can cause serious complications, including premature labor, hospitalization or even death. The flu vaccine is safe to get during any trimester during pregnancy.

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

A pregnant woman should get a whooping cough vaccine during each pregnancy, so the vaccine is passed onto the baby. If a baby has whooping cough, he or she will suffer from coughing fits, turn blue from lack of oxygen or gasp for air.

After Pregnancy - Some women may need to get vaccines after pregnancy; the physician will determine this.

Adults

In regard to vaccinations, adults refers to anyone age 19 years or older.

Vaccine name

Disease

Description

Influenza

Influenza

Recommended on a yearly basis

Tdap

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough

If a person did not get the Tdap vaccine as a teen, he or she should get the vaccination as an adult

Shingles

Shingles

Recommended for adults 60 years and older

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal vaccines (one or more doses) are recommended for adults 65 years and older

Other vaccinations may be necessary depending on occupation or health conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease or diabetes.

If you are unsure of what vaccinations you may need, go to this link: https://www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/. After answering a couple demographic and health questions, the website will show you what vaccines are needed.

Preteen/Teen

As preteens/teens prepare for middle school and high school, it is important that they are caught up on vaccinations to protect themselves and others. If all parents keep their children on the recommended schedule for vaccinations, it will create a safe environment for everybody. There are four vaccines to defend against serious diseases:

Vaccine name

Disease

Description

Influenza

Influenza

Recommended on a yearly basis

Tdap booster

Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough

Booster to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough

HPV

Human Papillomavirus

Vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV

Meningococcal Conjugate

Meningococcal Conjugate

Vaccine to protect against meningitis and blood infections

Back to School

At day cares, elementary schools, high schools or colleges, it is essential that all students stay on the recommended immunization schedule. These types of facilities are prone to outbreaks if one or more students are not vaccinated. Encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cover their mouths while coughing.

Daycares and schools

Each state has different requirements for vaccinations. Also, counties may have additional requirements that are not included from the state. Before enrolling in daycare or school, parents should check and see what vaccines are needed.

Colleges and universities

Most colleges require all incoming freshmen to be up-to-date with their immunizations, especially if they plan to live in the dorms. Each college may have different requirements, so it is important to look into it before moving on campus.


References:
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/index.html
https://www.nphic.org/niam
https://www.nphic.org/niam-adults
https://www.nphic.org/niam-babies
https://www.nphic.org/niam-pregnantwomen
https://www.nphic.org/niam-preteensteens
https://www.nphic.org/niam-schoolage