Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Vaccinations: Protecting Your Child’s Health

National Immunization Awareness Month is celebrated throughout the month of August by raising awareness about the importance of immunizations for children and adults of all ages. As the new school year quickly approaches, it’s important for parents to check their child’s immunization records and make sure they are up to date. Taking care of this before the new school year begins will help parents save money and time in the long run.

Why Does Your Child Need Vaccinations? 

Child care facilities, preschool programs and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough, chicken pox and the flu. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can easily spread sickness to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities. Babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions can easily catch infectious diseases that are spread by unvaccinated children.

Getting your child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health.  By age 2, babies will be protected from 14 serious and life-threatening diseases.

Immunization Resources for Parents

Parents can keep their children up to date on their vaccinations by visiting their family healthcare provider or using resources provided by their health department. If you reside in Gaston County or Lincoln County, North Carolina you may be eligible for free vaccination programs offered in both counties.

Gaston County Health and Human Services offers immunization services on a walk-in basis from 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday.  Appointments may also be scheduled by calling (704) 853-5009.  Some vaccines are free for children who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program.  Click here to learn more.

Lincoln County Health Department offers routine vaccinations to children ages 0-5 years old who are eligible for their Vaccine for Children (VFC) program.  Visit their website for a full list of immunization services. 

Source: NAIM Communication Toolkit: Babies & Young Children