As families gear up to send their children back to school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and as we brace for flu season, vaccines are especially important. August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. Here are our top reasons why vaccination matters so much, especially in this moment.
Fall brings the annual resurgence of flu season. Flu vaccines have always been an important tool for protecting the public’s health. The flu has killed between 12,000 – 61,000 people each year since 2010. Flu vaccines protect the most vulnerable populations.
In addition, public health professionals are worried about the potential of a “twindemic:” a serious flu season coupled with a second wave of coronavirus cases. Even mild flu cases could overwhelm hospitals and health clinics that might be coping with additional COVID-19 cases. Getting a flu vaccine is one way to help blunt the impact.
As children head back to school, there is a lot of uncertainty about how COVID-19 and other illnesses might spread. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a reduction in the number of children who receive their routine vaccinations. As social distancing requirements are relaxed, children who are not protected by vaccines will be more vulnerable to diseases such as measles
Thankfully, New York State Public Health Law requires students to get certain vaccines in order to attend child care or school.
One of the ways vaccination protects us is by ensuring we don’t get sick. But they also help keep others who can’t be vaccinated safe.
Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions
This Immunization Month, make sure you understand the value of vaccination and learn how to keep you and your family safe!