Community Immunity: August is Immunization Awareness Month

Published 8:06 am Monday, August 7, 2017

National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them.

Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

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NIAM is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC).

The Clark County Health Department is asking people throughout the county to make sure their loved ones are up-to-date on their immunizations.

Vaccines are a key to a healthy life for people of all ages and cultures in our community and we are using this opportunity as a reminder.

In August, parents are enrolling children in school, older students are entering college, and the adults and health care community are preparing for

the upcoming influenza season. This makes August a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunizations.

Vaccines have been used since the 1700s and are recognized as among the safest and most effective means of preventing life-threatening infections.

Vaccines work by telling

the person’s immune system to prepare itself for possible exposure to disease-causing

viruses or bacteria. When the person is actually exposed to the agent, the body knows

exactly what to do to fight off the disease.

This not only protects the immunized person, but it often limits the ability of the virus/bacteria to pass from person-to-person. Thus,

people who cannot be immunized because of underlying medical conditions or who fail

to respond to immunization are still protected by virtue of what is referred to as community immunity.

Before these vaccines became available, these diseases caused

tens of thousands of deaths each year in the U.S.

The Clark County Health Department encourages people of all ages to check their immunization records to make sure they are up-to-date.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive vaccines against diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio and others.

Adolescents should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV, Tdap, and meningococcal disease, and others that may have been missed earlier.

Those recommended for adults include vaccines against influenza (flu), Pneumococcal disease, Hepatitis B, Pertussis, and others.

For more information about vaccines and which ones are right for you, contact the Clark

County Health Department at 744-4482.

Clark County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and services, including: Nutrition Therapy, family planning, immunizations, WIC, HANDS, community education events, Cooper Clayton smoking cessation, etc. For more information on our services, please call 744-4482 or visit You can also like us on FACEBOOK or follow us on Twitter.