August is National Immunization Awareness MonthAugust 4, 2017
Knowing the right immunization schedule for you and your family can help keep you protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. ANTHC works with statewide partners to support the health and wellness of our people, such as the statewide Healthy Alaskans 2020 initiative, which monitors leading health indicator data.
Healthy Alaskans 2020 encourages and supports work with local and statewide partners to increase the proportion of Alaskans who are protected from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. National Immunization Awareness Month is sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC). For more information on the observance, visit NPHIC’s National Immunization Awareness Month website.
The associated Healthy Alaskans 2020 Leading Health Indicator, #17, is to increase the percentage of children aged 19-35 months who receive the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccination series. (4 DTaP, 3 Polio, 1 MMR, 3 Hib, 3 Hepatitis B, 1 Varicella, 4 PCV).
The Healthy Alaskans 2020 target is that 75 percent of children receive the ACIP-recommended vaccinations. Overall, 67.3 percent of children in Alaska are vaccinated in contrast with 76.2 Alaska Native children.
We can all use this month to raise awareness about vaccines and share strategies to increase immunization rates with our community and state. Here are some great ideas and resources: https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/AugustToolkit.aspx
- Add information about immunizations to your newsletter
- Tweet about National Immunization Awareness Month
- Host a community event where families can get together and learn about immunizations
- Add this web badge to your website, blog, or social networking profile
Immunizations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. They are safe and they work. In fact, serious side effects are no more common than those from other types of medication such as antibiotics, fever reducers and pain relievers. Vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90 percent! That’s why it’s important to turn to a reliable and trusted source for information and promote following the recommended vaccine schedule.
For many years, the backbone of Alaska’s disease prevention efforts has been the appropriate immunization of children attending our schools and child care facilities. Compliance with these requirements has nearly eliminated diseases that, in the past, caused significant illness and death. This success is the direct result of the tremendous partnerships that have developed among parents, school and child care facility personnel and health care providers. This support and commitment will ensure that Alaska’s children and adults do not suffer from diseases that can be prevented safely and effectively. August is a great time to review vaccine requirements for school-aged children. You can view Alaska’s back to school immunization regulations here: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/wcfh/Pages/school/Back-to-School.aspx
Other immunization resources:
ANTHC Immunization Schedule:
2017 Native Corporation Regional Immunization Coordinators:
Resources for Providers and Parents
Vaccinate Your Baby
History of Vaccines
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center
National Network for Immunization Information
Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases
Shot By Shot (Stories of Vaccine Preventable Disease)
CDC for Parents: Vaccines for Your Children
American Academy of Pediatrics Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Resources
CDC Vaccines & Immunizations
ACIP Vaccine-Specific Recommendations
ACIP General Recommendations on Immunizations (Jan 2011)
CDC Pink Book
Immunization Action Coalition
Ask The Experts: CDC experts answer questions about vaccines