August not only marks the beginning of school in Kentucky, but also National Immunization Awareness Month, highlighting the importance and benefits of immunizations.
“Vaccines are a requirement for school entry and help protect the health of children and that of their classmates and their community,” said Dr. Hiram Polk, commissioner, Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH). “When children are not vaccinated, they could be at risk of disease and can possibly spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community.”
Vaccines help protect against serious diseases such as chickenpox, flu (influenza), hepatitis, measles, meningitis, mumps, polio and whooping cough (pertussis). Parents can find out more about providing the best protection by following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended immunization schedule for persons age birth through 18 years at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html.
Protection received from childhood vaccines decreases over time. Preteens, teens and adults may need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children.
For more information about immunizations, contact the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Immunization Program at (502) 564-4478 or your local health department or healthcare provider.