August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Your health is very important to us and we want to help inform you of some of the key vaccines you may need and not even know it. Some of the National Public Health Information Coalition’s (NPHIC) recommendations include:

Influenza (Flu) – Flu season is just around the corner. People 65 years and older, young children, pregnant women and those with certain conditions including asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), diabetes and heart disease are at a greater risk of experiencing serious complications from the flu. However, the annual vaccine is recommended for everyone age 6 months and up.

Get vaccinated soon after it becomes available, ideally by October, to increase your chance of avoiding the flu. This Fall, free flu vaccines will be available for all employees on each campus. Be on the lookout for details.

Tetanus and Tdap – Especially important for pregnant women and adults who will have close contact with newborns or infants younger than age 1, the Tdap vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

While tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis are all caused by bacteria, diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person and tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches or wounds.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster) – Did you know that if you’ve had chickenpox, the virus can reactivate from a dormant state as shingles? In fact, half of the adults who live until age 85 will develop shingles at some point if they are not vaccinated. In people 60 and older, the vaccine reduces the risk of shingles by 51 percent.

Pneumococcal – Each year in the U.S., approximately 520,000 adults 65 years and up are diagnosed with pneumococcal disease. For all adults age 65 and older and those with certain health conditions including sickle cell disease, two different vaccines are recommended: a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Both protect against selected types of bacteria that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and bacteremia.

Your physician can also help you identify what vaccines you may be due for at your annual physical. Find out what vaccinations you may need by taking the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) quiz.