August 11, 2010
(Albany, NY)- In anticipation of National Immunization Awareness Month this August, Senator Breslin (D- Delmar) urged parents to schedule appointments for themselves and their children to protect against dangerous viruses.
National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance to emphasize the importance of immunizations across all stages of life, from infants to the elderly. Since children are especially vulnerable to infection, most vaccines are given during the first five to six years of life. Other immunizations are recommended during adolescent or adult years, and, for certain vaccines, booster immunizations are recommended throughout life.
“This is a great time for parents to get themselves and their kids immunized,” said Senator Breslin. “Parents can help their kids prepare for the upcoming school year, get their own immunizations at the same time, and beat the flu vaccine rush by scheduling their appointments in August.”
Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting community effort regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background, or country of origin. Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue through life.
Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century. Vaccines have completely wiped out smallpox and wild poliovirus in the United States, while significantly reducing the number of cases of measles, diphtheria, rubella, and other diseases. However, despite these efforts, tens of thousands of people in this country still die from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Continuing immunization is important. Even if there are many diseases that have been eliminated or controlled by vaccine, taking away the protections provided by vaccinations will allow diseases to spread to more and more people. Over time, this could undo the progress that has been made over many years fighting these diseases.
“Immunization is not just about your personal wellbeing, but it is about the community’s health as well,” said Senator Breslin. “If everyone, of all ages, does their part by getting their vaccinations, it keeps us all protected from infectious diseases that are entirely avoidable.”
Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only prevent disease, but also reduce costs resulting from missed work days, doctor visits, and hospital stays. They are extremely safe to use, thoroughly tested and monitored by doctors, researchers, and public health officials before being approved for public use.