National Immunization Awareness Month

Written by CDR. Shane Steiner, Office of Health Services

It’s August, and that means that it’s once again time for National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Your shipmates at Coast Guard Health, Safety, and Work-Life encourage all members of the Coast Guard family – whether active duty, reservists, civilians, auxiliarists, or family members – to take a few moments this month to think about the value of vaccination to keep us healthy.

This year, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC), which sponsors NIAM, has made the overall theme “Back To School.” To be sure that children and teenagers are ready to start school in the fall, it’s a good idea to check their shot records and make sure they’re up to date. Different school districts may have different requirements – if you’ve recently moved (we did just have PCS season after all!), be sure that your child’s vaccinations meet the new school district’s requirements.

There are also four sub-themes this year – one for each week in August:

July 31 – August 6: Babies and Young Women: A healthy start begins with on-time vaccinations.
August 7-13: Pregnant Women: Protect yourself and pass protection on to your baby.
August 14-20: Adults: Vaccines are not just for kids.
August 21-27: Pre-teens/Teens: Ensure a healthy future with vaccines.

For more information about the August 2017 NIAM, you can visit NPHIC. You can also learn much more about vaccines at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Finally, influenza (“flu”) season is getting closer! Don’t forget to get your annual flu shot. Because the flu changes every year, you need a new shot every fall. Check out the CDC flu website for details.

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