Immunizations are important for adults as well as children. They may hurt a little but the disease they prevent can be a lot worse. They protect against diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunization is the process through which a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease. Before vaccines people became immune by getting the disease and surviving it, and then the immune system remembers the germ and can fight it again. Immunizations make this process easier and less risky way to become immune. The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed healthcare and now is requiring different strategies to maintain clinical preventive services, including immunizations. Stay at home and shelter in place orders have resulted in declines in health visits which include fewer vaccines being administered leaving adults and children at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases. Routine vaccination is an essential preventive care service for children, adolescents and adults (including pregnant women) that should not be delayed. All vaccines due or overdue should be administered according to the recommended CDC immunizations schedules to provide protection as soon as possible. For CDC immunization schedule please visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. In addition, Flu season is approaching and annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons age 6 months and older to decrease the morbidity and mortality caused by influenza. During the COVID-19 pandemic is especially important to help reduce overall burden of respiratory illness with the healthcare system. There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To avoid contacting the disease, you should practice social distancing (6 feet apart), wear a face cover (cover nose and mouth), wash hands for 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer. Please consult with your physician about any immunizations or vaccines needed.
Written by LaVella Head