National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed every August and highlights the importance of children and adults getting recommended vaccines throughout their life. The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) and Ocean County Library are partnering to spread the important message that you have the power to protect yourself and your family from not only diseases such as COVID-19 – but also influenza, whooping cough, certain cancers, measles, and pneumonia – through on-time vaccination.
During NIAM, the OCHD encourages you talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure you have the best protection and your loved ones are up to date on routine vaccines that may save your life.
“The OCHD is extremely pleased to team up with the Ocean County Library during immunization month,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator/Health Officer. It’s the perfect fit, they have the many additional resources and tools to help us better spread the word about the important benefits of getting vaccinated no matter what your age.”
Ocean County Library Director, Susan Quinn, MLIS, CPM, agreed, “We just felt that with the pandemic, it was important to help do our part. We have the ability to reach people that the health department may not typically have access to. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both in-person learning and routine well-child visits for many children over the last year. CDC’s public sector vaccine ordering data show a 14% drop in 2020-2021 compared to 2019, and measles vaccine ordering is down by more than 20%.
Regenye continued, “As your children head back to school, the OCHD encourages parents to make sure vaccination is at the top of your list. If you didn’t get the chance to see your health care provider due to the pandemic, now’s the time so you’re children are protected.”
Parents should also visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.
But even adults over 19 are probably not getting the vaccines they need. Despite most private insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines, adult vaccination rates in the United States are extremely low. Each year, tens of thousands of adults needlessly suffer, are hospitalized, and even die as a result of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines.
“You’d be surprised how many adults are unaware of the vaccines they need,” Regenye stated. “While most adults do believe immunizations are important, many don’t know which vaccines are recommended for them throughout their lives. Again, this is why we urge people to speak with their healthcare provider to see what vaccines are right for you.”
Vaccine requirements for school students, including recommendations for adults, can be found at the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/.
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! During NIAM, the OCHD and the Ocean County Library will be sharing information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines.
Follow the Ocean County Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook. Download the Ocean County Health Department mobile app free from the Google Play/Android and Apple APP stores.
Visit the Ocean County Library website at oceancountylibrary.org or call 732-349-6200.