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Get those immunizations in August

When: August

What: When parents bring home a new baby, they worry about everything.  How much should they feed the baby? When should the baby sleep? Many new parents also worry about vaccinations. Babies, however, aren’t the only ones that should receive immunizations. During National Immunization Awareness Month, educate yourself on who should get vaccines and which ones are safe.

Background: A human being can be susceptible to any number of diseases and illnesses. Childhood vaccines work to prevent diphtheria, measles, polio, chickenpox, and more. As your child grows into a young adult, however, the vaccination process tapers off and the need doesn’t seem to be as high. But young adults and adults may also be susceptible to diseases such as influenza and meningococcal meningitis. This monthlong event is observed in hopes of improving national immunization coverage levels, and encourages all people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Story Pitch: Many groups and organizations can pitch around this event. Pediatricians and family doctors can provide all parents, including new parents, with information on how to properly immunize their child, while also making patients aware of the possible dangers of nonimmunization. Colleges and college health departments may use the month to educate students on the dangers of meningitis while recommending the preventative vaccine.  Local hospitals, health departments and clinics can offer information on what immunizations are important during the year. Meanwhile, foundations dedicated to various communicable diseases may also want to promote their cause during this time.

Story Background: Reported outbreaks of certain diseases like pertussis, also known as whooping cough, and measles are becoming more common as parents choose to abstain from vaccinating their children. What are the real risks? What is considered fact when it comes to the dangers of vaccinating? Consider the following when making your pitch:

  • At what ages should children receive vaccines?
  • What are the most important vaccines for a child?
  • What immunizations are important for adults?
  • What diseases and illnesses can a college-aged person be susceptible to? What vaccinations can prevent these illnesses?

Tips: A doctor who specializes in immunizations and vaccinations can shed some light on the importance of vaccination awareness. In addition, a college health professional can discuss the value of vaccinations for anyone living in a dorm setting. A parent choosing to vaccinate would also make a good source because they can speak on why they believe it’s important.

Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(800) 232-4636
cdcinfo(at)cdc.gov
www.cdc.gov

Immunization Action Coalition
(651) 647-9009
admin(at)immunize.org
www.immunize.org

Institute for Vaccine Safety
info(at)hopkinsvaccine.org
www.vaccinesafety.edu

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(888) 463-6332
www.fda.gov

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

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