Health Education

National Immunization Awareness Month: August 2015

Cropped SingleCare logo By | August 11, 2015

With the new school year approaching, it’s time to start preparing. Amidst the back-to-school shopping for school supplies and picking out the perfect first day outfit, families should get their kids ready for the school year by making sure they’re up to date on all of their vaccinations.

Ensuring your family’s protection against preventable diseases is simple, affordable, and, most importantly, mandatory — especially for kids.

There’s a good chance you owe your life to immunization. According to the College Physicians of Philadelphia, inoculation in some form has been practiced worldwide for nearly a millennium. So even if you’re currently unvaccinated, it’s likely that your ancestor had the privilege of being immunized.

That immunizations are now standard medical practice reflects on how far the field of medicine has come — and this August, doctors are trying to spread that awareness.

Even so, many people must remain unvaccinated because of allergies or a compromised immune system. These people rely on herd immunity — the immunized people surrounding them — to act as a barrier against disease.

So to improve the health of the entire community, all individuals who are physically able should be getting vaccinated. Those people must receive their first immunizations as children — and then keep up with vaccinations as an adult — to ensure their maximum effectiveness.

Stick it to Me: Common Vaccinations

Influenza

More commonly known as the flu, the virus kills between 300,000 and 500,000 people annually, according to the World Health Organization. So considering how pervasive and dangerous it is, getting the vaccine is absolutely vital.

However, the virus constantly mutates, and new strains become prevalent with each passing season. That means you have to get vaccinated at the beginning of every winter, as the vaccines typically immunize against the season’s three most common strains of flu.

Measles

A potentially debilitating disease, measles has been “officially” eliminated from the U.S thanks to a highly effective vaccine program, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, even as recently as this spring, there have been small measles outbreaks across the country amongst groups of unvaccinated citizens.

The lesson? Get vaccinated! It’s hard to argue with the success rate of 93% for a single immunization and 97% for the two doses generally prescribed.

Tetanus

This disease differs from most because it’s not contagious like the flu or measles. Instead, tetanus is a bacteria that enters the body through broken skin, and causes lockjaw, among other severe problems, as well as death in one-third of all cases.

Again, only people who haven’t gotten vaccinated or who have a lapse in their vaccination program can contract tetanus.

Why Vaccinate?

Vaccines enable your immune system to fight diseases that would otherwise keep you bedridden, hospitalized, or worse. So make the effort to get vaccinated. Not only does it keep you feeling better and more secure in your health, but it also protects those around you.

There’s a reason that it’s National Immunization Awareness Month. August is the ideal time to immunize: warm weather and social gatherings encourage the transmission of pathogens, keeping them alive longer and increasing the speed at which they spread.

And soon, kids will be heading back to school, exposing them to new and diverse diseases — especially because many have just traveled on summer vacation.

No Needles in the Hay Stack: Finding Doctors and Clinics

Getting immunized today is easier than ever, as you can now get flu vaccinations at most local drugstores. But for the other immunizations, SingleCare helps you find doctors that offer comprehensive vaccinations, with or without insurance.

Their partnership with a broad network of top medical professionals translates to up to 50% savings over what you would pay with insurance.

Vaccination no longer has to be a choice — affordable access to quality care is now readily available for all. So 1,000 years after the first immunization was developed, let’s all say goodbye to preventable diseases.

(Main image credit: Márcio Cabral de Moura/flickr)