August is National Immunization Awareness Month: Are You Up To Date on Your Vaccines?

Vaccines are an integral part of public health. Through proper immunization programs, deadly and dangerous diseases can be eliminated. Learn the significance of National Immunization Awareness Month and how you can be a part of it.

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are a way to build your body’s immunity and allow your body to develop antibodies, which helps fight diseases. Once vaccines are administered, you do not have to go through the symptoms of the illness as your body will automatically fight off germs.

What are the benefits of a vaccine?

Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from fatal infectious diseases. They also help prevent the onset of diseases that can severely affect your health, such as diseases that cause limb paralysis or heart damage. Vaccines help prevent the spread of infectious diseases from one person to another. Getting vaccinated is, therefore, a great way to show your commitment to a major public health cause.

What kinds of vaccines are available?

As medical science advances, new vaccines for treating serious or potentially deadly diseases are being introduced all the time. So, it is essential that you stay up to date on the various vaccines available. Smith Caldwell can provide some vaccines to qualifying individuals 18 years and older, please be aware that in some circumstances a prescription may be required.

There are some misconceptions about vaccine availability. Some people mistakenly believe that vaccinations are only available from their doctor. In fact, you can find a pharmacy with flu vaccinations, such as Smith Caldwell Drug Store in Benton, Arkansas. Other vaccines against pneumonia and shingles are also available here. 

Student vaccines

Students are exposed to many infectious diseases in classroom and dormitory environments. Most colleges and universities require students to be current on all their vaccinations before enrolling. These requirements include having all your necessary booster shots.

A few of the vaccines for students include the Tdap, MMR, hepatitis A and B vaccines, meningitis vaccine, and chickenpox vaccine. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which prevents infections that can contribute to cervical and penile cancer, is also available for students.

Adult vaccines

Almost every adult needs to be current on several vaccines to protect against common infections. For example, you will need to get flu shots every year. You also need to be sure your tetanus vaccine is up to date. Tetanus is included in the Tdap vaccine. 

Additionally, there are other optional vaccines that your doctor may prescribe depending on your medical history and situation. These include the HPV vaccine and meningitis vaccine.

For people over 50 years of age, doctors may prescribe shingles vaccines to protect against shingles and related complications. Pneumococcal vaccine may also be recommended to protect against infections affecting your lungs and bloodstream.

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you ever have any questions about vaccines, including whether a vaccine is needed in your case. They will be happy to answer your inquiries and address your concerns.

Travel vaccines

International travelers receive travel vaccinations before leaving the country. This is done to protect you from contracting infectious diseases that may not be common or even exist in the United States. Typical travel vaccines include immunizations against anthrax, hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies, and yellow fever.

National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month is celebrated every year in August and helps bring attention to the importance of vaccinations and how they can prevent the onset and prevention of various diseases.

During August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs various social media campaigns to draw awareness to vaccinations. Educational resources and promotional materials are distributed in health care centers, including drugstores and pharmacies, to drive people’s attention to the importance of immunization.

How can you be part of the National Immunization Awareness Campaign?

You can help ensure that the immunization awareness campaign reaches as many people as possible. You can also take part in the campaign in many different ways.

You can educate your friends and family about the importance of getting vaccinated or encourage the people in your community to have seasonal vaccines like flu shots to help prevent the spread of disease. You can invite a doctor to speak at your institute or community, and talk to others about the benefits of taking the vaccine.

You can also share information about National Immunization Awareness Month on your social media page. If you are a business owner, then you can include the details of the campaign in your newsletter.

For more information

Take action that brings awareness to this public health issue. For more information about vaccines and immunization awareness, contact Smith Caldwell at (501) 404-2740.