It’s National Immunization Awareness Month and an excellent time to remind ourselves how essential vaccines are to maintaining public health.
As developers of vaccine management software functionalities, we work with all types of organizations to improve vaccine compliance rates among their staff. We also strive to do our part to spread awareness about why vaccines matter among wellness providers and the general public.
In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month, we’re observing the meaning and history behind this important annual event, plus the reasons why getting the right vaccines at the correct times can make all the difference.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month: Here’s What That Means
We’ve had access to lifesaving vaccines for decades now. And in that time, we’ve seen a lot of huge wins in the global vaccine movement, from the eradication of smallpox to the rapid development and widespread dissemination of the Covid vaccine. Unfortunately, we’ve also faced our fair share of hurdles, including vaccine shortages, mutating viruses, and growth in anti-vaccine rhetoric.
National Immunization Awareness Month, established by the National Public Health Information Coalition in 2013 and now overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is an opportunity to recognize the good and bad in our vaccine history. Even more crucially, it serves as a reminder to everyone—parents and guardians in particular—about the importance of vaccines and the protection they can offer individuals and their communities.
At Immuware, we also recognize just how powerful increased vaccine awareness can be. This month, we hope to help further the conversation around vaccine efficacy and encourage everyone to do their part to contribute to immunization awareness.
Saving Children’s Lives Through Vaccine Awareness
A primary goal of this year’s National Immunization Awareness Month is to encourage routine childhood vaccinations, which is one of the best tools we have for protecting children and teens from preventable illnesses.
Vaccines are crucial to protecting children’s health, both now and in the future. For example, among children born between 1994 and 2018, routine vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, as well as 419 million illnesses and eight million hospitalizations. To achieve these impressive numbers, however, parents and providers must keep kids up-to-date with their vaccines, stick to the recommended schedule, and get children immunized against all infectious diseases that vaccines can protect.
For clinic representatives, doctors, and nursing staff, let this serve as a reminder to regularly alert patients to upcoming immunizations needed and assuage any vaccine concerns they may have.
National Immunization Awareness Month Facts and Fiction
There are a lot of misconceptions about vaccines. Are you able to separate fact from fiction?
FACT: Globally, a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease.
Here in the U.S., we’re lucky to have such widespread access to childhood vaccines—especially when you consider that 2.5 million children under the age of five pass away every year around the world from a vaccine-preventable disease.
FICTION: Vaccines make your child sick.
All vaccines come with potential side effects, but for the large majority of people (and kids included), these side effects are mild and quickly go away on their own.
FACT: Vaccines undergo comprehensive safety testing before becoming available to the public.
Regardless of how quickly they are developed, all vaccines go through a strict and highly regulated process to ensure they are safe. This includes five phases of research and development, three phases of clinical trials, and oversight from four safety surveillance systems.
FICTION: You do not need to be vaccinated against illnesses that are no longer common.
Thanks to vaccines, we’ve been able to make once-common illnesses like polio and measles incredibly rare. That doesn’t mean they’re gone for good, though. In fact, we’ve seen rising rates of these diseases in communities without high rates of immunization, and failure to get vaccinated against them could increase the spread.
It’s not just families that need to prioritize immunizations. Check out our employee health articles to learn more about the necessity of vaccines in the workplace, and contact us for information on employee health tracking and vaccine administration software.