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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

By Robert Marshall Wells

With good reason, much of our attention this past year-and-a-half has been consumed by COVID-19 and the many issues related to it.

However, let’s not forget that COVID-19 isn’t the only illness for which vaccines have been developed.

As it happens, August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual observance intended to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

Vaccines have a long history of protecting and saving lives. For example, common immunizations for children include the polio (IPV), chickenpox (Varicella) and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines.

Adults also need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. We are also at risk for different diseases as adults. Therefore, vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available.

Annual shots for Influenza (Flu) and vaccinations for disorders such as shingles, as well as MMR boosters are available for adults.

Still other vaccines may be appropriate for you or members of your family. Talk to a healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.

For Pierce County residents seeking guidance about vaccines, visit the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department website at https://www.tpchd.org/healthy-people/immunizations/for-adults, or call (253) 649-1500 or (800) 330-1844 for more information.

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