The Southwest Public Health Department stresses getting kids immunized, but they also say adults are equally important.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and it's just in time for the back to school season. Not only do young children need to receive their vaccinations, but college students need to be up-to-date as well.
"Immunizations are not just for infants and children," Grant said. "We all need vaccinations to protect us from serious diseases and illnesses. For example, the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal influenza shot every year," says Southwest District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.
For college students, there are vaccines for Bacterial Meningitis, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough).
Grant said it is important to remember that different shots are appropriate for different populations at different ages:
- Children under age 6 get a series of vaccines to protect against measles, mumps, polio, chicken pox, meningitis and hepatitis
- 11- and 12-year-olds need shots to help protect them against tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningitis
- Doctors also recommend preteens get the HPV vaccine to protect against the most common cause of cervical cancer in girls and some cancers in boys
- Adolescents and adults need the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough) vaccine
- Adults over 64 can now have the Tdap vaccine
- Adults need a tetanus shot every 10 years
- People age 65 need a one-time pneumonia shot
Consult your doctor about which vaccines your family needs and when to get them.
For more information about immunizations and to find your local county health department or visit their website.