National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases, like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV and pneumonia through on-time vaccination.
We encourage you to talk with your doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider to ensure you, your child and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines. The best way to make informed healthcare decisions is to talk to trusted providers about the risks, benefits and any concerns you may have. Starting a conversation with a healthcare provider will help you confidently make personal health choices that work best for you.
We also encourage you to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life. The choice to delay or reject some vaccines entirely may have consequences for your child and for his or her peer group, the friends and classmates your family comes into contact with throughout childhood. When we choose to forego vaccines or skip them for our children, we put ourselves and others in our community at risk for serious disease.
As your children head back to school this fall, make sure vaccination is at the top of your checklist. August is also a key time to make sure you are current on all the vaccines you need to stay healthy. Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which immunizations might be right for you, with boosters for illnesses like hepatitis and tetanus or additional preventatives like the shingles vaccine if you had chickenpox as a child.
There are many things in life we can’t control. Vaccines are one tool we can choose to help ensure we stay healthy and keep our communities healthy. When we vaccinate, we’re helping ourselves and our communities remain disease-free.
The Oklahoma Alliance for Health Families shares information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines. Help us spread the word! Follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and use #ImmunizeOK to share why you choose to vaccinate.