August is National Immunization Awareness Month (#NIAM14).
The purpose of this observance is to highlight the importance of
immunizations, one of the top 10 public health accomplishments of the 20th
Century, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
While immunizations have significantly reduced the incidence of many serious
infectious diseases, vaccination rates for some diseases are not meeting national
public health goals. And we need to remind people that immunizations aren't just
for children. They are needed throughout our lifetime.
Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14
serious diseases before they turn 2 years old. Every dose of vaccine is important
to protect against infectious diseases like the flu, measles and whooping cough
(pertussis) that can be life threatening for newborns and young babies. You can
provide the best protection by following the recommended immunization
schedule - giving your baby every vaccine she needs, when she needs it - and
by making sure those who will be around your baby are vaccinated, too.
Pregnancy is a great time to plan for your baby's immunizations - and to make
sure you have the vaccines you need to protect yourself and pass protection
from some diseases to your baby during the first few months of life. In addition to
the vaccines recommended for adults, pregnant women need to have a flu shot
every year, and the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy to protect against
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is often thought
of as a disease of the past. While we no longer see the number of cases we did
before the vaccine was available, it is a growing health concern. The U.S.
experienced a nearly 60-year record high number of cases in 2012, with more
than 48,000 reported cases and 20 deaths.