Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Health Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman are reminding residents about the importance of vaccines and the protection they provide against serious diseases during National Immunization Awareness Month.
National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.
“Every year, tens of thousands of Americans get sick from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immunizations are the optimum protection against these diseases.” Neuhaus said. “It is one of the best ways parents can protect their children from potentially harmful diseases. Adults may also be at risk for disease due to age, job, lifestyle, travel, or health conditions such as asthma/COPD, heart disease and diabetes, and should consider getting immunizations if they haven’t already have done so.”
While vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases, it is important to note that the germs that cause vaccine-preventable disease still exist and can be spread to people who are not protected by vaccines.
“We vaccinate to protect our future.” Dr. Gelman advised. “We vaccinate to protect our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. It is essential that we continue to immunize until a disease is completely eliminated. Even if there are only a few cases of a disease, we must continue to vaccinate, so that we do not undo the progress we have made over the years.”
According to the American College of Physicians, vaccines are safe. Before a vaccine is approved for use in the United States, it undergoes years of careful testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also inspects the facilities where the vaccines are manufactured. Once a vaccine is licensed, the FDA and the CDC continue to monitor its use.
Vaccines are especially important for older adults and those with compromised immune systems.
“Immunization has had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a child, a family, or a community.” Gelman added. “Immunization is a powerful defense that’s safe, proven and effective.”
For additional information regarding immunizations, log onto www.cdc.gov/vaccines.