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National Immunization Awareness Month

vaccines-immunizations- Catch UpSince August is the National Immunization Awareness Month, parents should take the opportunity to ensure that their children’s vaccinations are up to date. This is important since vaccines protect children from many diseases some of which have serious complications like infertility, deafness and even death.

For starters parents should ensure that the entire family is up-to-date on their DTap which protects them from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). The MMRV which offers protection from measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) is another vaccine which all family members should be current.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all 11-12 year olds should receive the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine. Parents should therefore ensure that their pre-teens receive this vaccine since it prevents girls and boys from developing cervical, anal and oral cancer later on in life.

Parents should also remind their older children who are going to college to get all their immunizations before they move into dormitories. They should also make sure that those who are traveling to other countries receive the appropriate vaccines before they leave the US.

Since the flu vaccine becomes available in mid-to-late August, parents should also begin planning how all their family members will receive it to ensure that they are protected during the flu season.

In addition, since many immunizable diseases like hepatitis are easily transmitted, parents should also remind parents of their children’s friends to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up-to-date. This simple reminder can help protect not only their children, but also the community at large since having most people immunized reduces the chances of epidemics arising.

Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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