August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM)

National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunization is essential for a healthy life and vaccination must be prioritized to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from avoidable diseases. Vaccines play a key role in preventing serious and even deadly diseases across the lifespan. As we confront and battle the deadly coronavirus pandemic, raising public awareness and decreasing vaccine hesitancy is paramount.

There are different vaccines that we need to take each year to protect against a number of serious and sometimes deadly diseases. As all vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government, they are safe and effective and save lives. Along with protecting yourself, your family and children from many serious and potentially deadly diseases, vaccine also reduces the stress on health care systems worldwide.

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) takes place during August. This annual event highlights the importance of immunizations throughout the lifespan. This month raises awareness and encourages everyone to make sure they are current on the necessary vaccinations, mainly against potentially harmful diseases.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 732,000 deaths among children born between 1994 and 2013 have been prevented by vaccines and The World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates that vaccines prevent 2-3 million deaths each year.

First vaccination in history was introduced in 1796 by Edward Jenner, to create immunity against smallpox. Many diseases can be easily prevented by administering vaccines, which protects you from unseen viruses. Vaccinations are vital for a healthy life and increased life expectancy.
Lack of awareness of the vaccination benefits result in people not taking vaccines on-time. According to the reports from WHO, in 2020 –

  • The number of completely unvaccinated children increased by 3.4 million, and
  • 17.1 million infants did not receive an initial dose of DTP vaccine

Check your immunization records to determine whether or not you are up to date with the vaccines and educate your family and friends about the benefits of vaccination. Also, discuss your family medical history with your doctor so that he/she would be best informed about recommending vaccines for immunization.

The goal of WHO’s ‘Global Vaccine Action Plan’ (GVAP) is to encourage more vaccinations worldwide. Endorsed by the 194 Member States of the World Health Assembly in May 2012, this project aimed to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities.

When it comes to COVID-19, the CDC recommends that unvaccinated people get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. Once fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic.

By getting vaccinated on-time, we are all working together to eliminate diseases before they have a chance to spread.

Stay vaccinated on time! Stay safe!

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