No need to raise hands, but who’s afraid of getting shots? There are more than a few people who are afraid of needles and getting shots. However, these shots are vaccinations that protect the body against various diseases. Instead of being afraid of shots, consider being more afraid of the diseases they prevent. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the purpose of this month is to “highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.”

What are vaccines?

Vaccines are generally given through an injection, and according to Immunize Nevada, protect “against serious diseases by stimulating the immune system to create antibodies against certain bacteria or viruses.” Diseases such as polio, measles, small pox and whooping cough used to be devastating because there was no cure. Thanks to modern vaccines, these diseases are almost eradicated.

Why should I immunize?

Some people don’t consider immunization important in this age because no one they know has measles or polio. While many serious diseases aren’t present in the United States, they still exist in other parts of the world. Through world travel, many diseases have a chance of coming back to the U.S. Without immunizations, these diseases could once again cause widespread illness. The best practice is to stay up to date with immunizations.

Another reason everyone should get vaccinated is because of herd immunity. When a majority of community receives a vaccine, they limit the disease’s ability to spread. This is especially important for individuals who can’t receive their own vaccines, such as pregnant women, infants and people who are immunocompromised. Getting a vaccine protects the people around you, so do it for them.    

 

Remember, vaccinations are covered under your 10 essential health benefits. With school starting soon, it’s the perfect time to be sure the whole family’s immunization records are up to date. Immunization records are available online through Nevada WebIZ. If anyone has vaccinations missing, call your local clinic or healthcare provider to find out when to come in.

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