August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Oneida County Health Department recommends children are up to date with vaccines
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Back-to-school time means gathering school supplies and back packs. It’s also an opportunity to make sure children are current on their vaccines.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said Jennifer Bates, public health nurse. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
The Oneida County Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
Bates said it’s important for parents to be aware of what their children need because vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases.
Several school districts in the Northwoods experienced high rates of absenteeism among students and teachers due to an outbreak of pertussis late last fall. The school district of Rhinelander closed for winter break early and cancelled all extracurricular actives in December in effort to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease.
“The pertussis vaccine is included in a series of immunizations children should receive,” Bates said. “There is also one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) recommended between the ages of 11 and 12. With the outbreaks, (the Center for Disease Control) is looking at whether adults also need a booster.”
If the United States stopped vaccinating, according the CDC, diseases that are almost unknown would stage a comeback, and there would be “epidemics of diseases that are nearly under control today.”
Before sending their children back to school, parents can find out more about the recommended vaccines at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/. Parents may call their child’s health care provider or the Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111 for more information.