August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a month dedicated to spreading information about the importance of vaccinations for people of all ages.

August is a great time to talk about vaccinations. Parents are enrolling their children in school, older students are gearing up for college and the healthcare community is preparing for the flu season.

In the past few months vaccinations have been a hot topic in the media, so now is the perfect time to spread information about vaccines, what they do, and who should get them.

How Do They Work?
Vaccines take a weakened or dead part of a virus and inject it into the body. This weakened version of the virus does not pose as much of a threat and allows the immune system to learn how to build up antibodies to fight it. This way, when you encounter the virus again your immune system is ready with antibodies.

Vaccines allow us to develop these important antibodies without actually getting sick.

Who Needs Vaccinations?
Vaccinations can start during childhood and run through adulthood.

The vaccinations many receive as children are for potentially life threatening illnesses and conditions such as:
•    Mumps
•    Measles
•    Polio
•    Tetanus

There are vaccines that are recommended for adults as well, depending on health and lifestyle circumstances. Experts recommend adults get vaccinated for:
•    Flu
•    Tetanus
•    Shingles

When an entire community gets vaccinated, it helps protect those who have underlying health conditions that prevent them from getting vaccinated themselves. This means that by getting vaccinated you not only protect yourself, but others as well.

If you have questions about immunizations, consider contacting one of the many qualified healthcare providers in our directory.