August Is Immunization Awareness Month In Michigan

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Immunization Awareness Month

Michigan Department of Community Health recognizes August as Immunization Awareness Month in Michigan.

"Certain vaccines are encouraged from infancy on through to the elderly years," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "Those traveling abroad and those with compromised immune systems are also encouraged to contact their primary care provider for appropriate immunization recommendations."

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In addition to the routine immunizations given at birth, parents are urged to protect preteens - 11 and 12 year olds - by having them vaccinated against serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases such as meningitis, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, and cervical cancer. Research shows that preteens generally do not get preventive healthcare, visiting the doctor only when they are sick.

"Many parents do not realize that some childhood vaccines, such as those for tetanus and whooping cough, wear off over time and, as they get older, young people are at risk of exposure to different diseases at school, camp or in other new situations," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Adults and the elderly, especially those with underlying health concerns, should receive an annual flu shot as well as age-appropriate shots to guard against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal, and Hepatitis A and B. In 2006, the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) was expanded to include adults, and all vaccine doses are recommended to be reported to the registry. MCIR provides patient immunization history and shows what vaccines are due.

Those traveling outside the U.S. should check with the country they are visiting as most require specific travel immunizations for visitors.

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