August marks the annual observance of the National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in America, a campaign aimed at promoting the importance of immunization for people across all ages. Immunizations, also referred to as vaccinations, are vital for our overall health as they protect our bodies from infections and diseases. Approved vaccines undergo thorough testing to ensure their safety and effectiveness when received at the recommended ages. With a majority of schools reopening this Fall, it is important for parents, teachers and local healthcare providers to ensure that children and vulnerable members of our communities receive the CDC recommended vaccinations.
This year, the word ‘vaccine’ has gained much popularity around the world due to COVID-19 with scientists working around the clock to deliver a vaccine. While significant strides are being made in finding a COVID-19 vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF issued a warning on an alarming decline in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines globally. Citing a disruption in the delivery and uptake of immunization services due to the pandemic, the hard-won growth aimed at reaching more children and adolescences with wider vaccine ranges has been hindered by a decade of delayed coverage. In the United States, the CDC further reported that following COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020, there was a significant decline in the ordering and administering of routine pediatric and adult vaccines with concerns about the potential exposure to COVID-19.
Such a decline indicates that children and adults in US communities face an increase risk in outbreaks for diseases that are vaccine-preventable. This calls for an ongoing coordination effort for access and availability of vaccines between healthcare providers and local, state and federal public health officials. On an individual level, we suggest that you:
- Call your local health provider to make an inquiry on how you can safely access and receive a required vaccine for yourself or your child.
- Visit the CDC website for information on immunization schedules. Here are the links to the available schedules by age:
- Ensure that you, your child or a senior citizen within your home has received all the required vaccination to reduce their risk for an outbreak.
Immaculate Homecare Services recognizes the importance of immunization especially in a time when the access to vaccines is limited due to social distancing restrictions and the increasing concern over infections within health facilities. To receive updates on immunization awareness, please like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.