August is designated as National Immunization Awareness Month. This is the time of year when parents prepare for their children’s return to school, students are heading off to college, and healthcare workers are preparing for the upcoming flu season.

The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect those not protected by vaccines.  Vaccines have reduced, in some cases, eliminated diseases that once killed or disabled thousands of infants, children and adults in the recent past. Children need a series of shots from birth to age 6. Pre-teens need recommended shots at age 11 or 12. Talk to your doctor to be sure of the immunizations that you and your family need.

Remember – vaccines help prevent many serious diseases and improve the health and well-being of our community. For more information, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for tips and recommendations.