ROSWELL, Ga. — State Representative Betty Price is making constituents aware that August is National Immunization Awareness Month.
During the 2017 legislative session, Price authored House Resolution 396 to recognize August as NIAM and encourage youth and adults to get vaccinated.
“When you are in good health it is easy to delay or forget to keep your immunizations current, however it is so important to know when you and your family need vaccinations in order to prevent serious, sometimes fatal, diseases,” Price said. “Between 40,000 and 50,000 adults in the United States die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases. This human tragedy is astounding, not to mention that the direct annual healthcare burden from the care of these unvaccinated individuals is estimated to be about $10 billion. Prevention is the key.”
NIAM coincides with the beginning of the school year to encourage children going back to school to get vaccinated and is also meant to urge citizens of all ages to get up to date on their vaccines and maintain complete records of their immunization history.
“The effectiveness and safety of adult vaccines should yield a vaccination rate much higher than it is, however it is much lower than it could be,” Price said. “The widespread availability of vaccines has been cited as one of the ten great public health achievements, and we want to be sure people are vaccinated to help reduce vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, part of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, periodically updates and modifies the vaccines needed. The Georgia Department of Public Health website is another resource for Georgians to learn more about vaccines.
These websites have links to vaccine schedules for infants and toddlers, immunization requirements for Georgia child care and school attendance, a listing of the vulnerable populations who need to get a flu shot each fall and recommendations for aging citizens, such as the pneumonia and shingles vaccines.
For more information, visit cdc.gov/vaccines and dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section.