August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the perfect time to boost your knowledge and understanding of vaccines with the new school year right around the corner. Making sure that your child sees their doctor for well-child visits and recommended vaccines is one of the best things you can do to protect them and the community from serious diseases that are easily spread. Children who are not protected by vaccines are more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough. These diseases are extremely contagious and can be very serious, especially for babies and young children. In recent years, there have been outbreaks of these diseases, especially in communities with low vaccination rates.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including your ability to attend important appointments and receive routine vaccinations. During National Immunization Awareness Month, we encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider to ensure you and your family are protected against serious diseases by getting caught up on routine vaccinations.
It’s incredibly important to have our children back in school safely, and that means getting caught up on vaccines that were missed over the last year. The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) public sector vaccine ordering data show a 14% drop in 2020-2021 compared to 2019, and the measles vaccine is down by more than 20% since then as well. Kids need to get caught up now so that they are protected as they go back to in-person learning. Catch-up vaccination will require efforts from healthcare systems, health care providers, schools, state and local governments, and families.
Why Your Child Should Get Vaccinated
Vaccines can prevent serious diseases that once killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults. Without vaccines, your child is at risk for serious illness or even death from diseases like measles and whooping cough.
- It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs.
- Vaccination is a highly effective, safe, and easy way to help keep your family healthy.
- The timing of vaccination is based on how your child’s immune system responds to vaccines at various ages and how likely your child may be exposed to disease.
- Vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.
- Routine vaccinations during childhood help prevent 14 diseases.
- Among children born from 1994-2018, vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, 8 million hospitalizations, and 419 million illnesses.
Recommended Vaccines for Children and Adolescents
Getting children and adolescents caught up with recommended vaccinations is the best way to protect them from a variety of vaccine-preventable diseases. The following CDC schedules linked below outline the vaccines recommended for each age group.
Recommended Vaccine Schedule from Birth to Six Years
Recommended Vaccine Schedule from Seven to 18 Years
If you have questions about vaccines, please talk to your child’s healthcare provider. They can provide more information on the vaccines themselves and their recommended schedule.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention