Protect yourself by getting vaccinated

Published 6:36 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) is continuing to stress the importance of keeping up-to-date on your family’s immunizations.

The goal of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is to increase awareness about immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly.

“As whooping cough cases continue to occur sporadically nationwide and with flu season right around the corner, it is the perfect time to remind Georgians of the role each of us plays in keeping our community healthy,” said Diane Watson, DCH’s director of the Office of Immunization. “Getting immunized is a lifelong, life-protecting, community effort regardless of age, sex, race, ethnic background or country of origin.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) credits immunizations as one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century.

Because children are particularly vulnerable to infection, most vaccines are given during the first five to six years of life. Other immunizations are recommended during adolescent or adult years and, for certain vaccines, booster immunizations are recommended throughout life.

Vaccines against certain diseases that may be encountered when traveling outside of the United States are recommended for travelers to specific regions of the world.

“With summer coming to a close and parents preparing to send kids back to school, August is a great time to catch up on immunizations,” added Watson. “It is recommended that Georgians contact their health care provider or local health department to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date.”

The following are the recommended vaccinations for children, adolescents and adults:

Children (birth to 6 years of age)

Hepatitis B


Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (whooping cough)

Haemophilus influenzae type b

Pneumococcal (pneumonia)

Poliovirus (polio)

Influenza (flu)

Measles, Mumps, Rubella

Varicella (Chicken Pox)

Hepatitis A

Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)

Adolescents (7 through 18 years of age)

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)

Influenza (flu)

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap booster)

Varicella (second dose maybe needed)

Adults (19 through 65 years of age)

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap)

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Varicella (chicken pox)

Zoster (shingles)

Measles, mumps, rubella

Influenza (flu)

Pneumococcal (pneumonia)

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Meningococcal (causes meningitis and sepsis)

Some adult immunizations are recommended only for certain age groups or those meeting risk criteria.

The childhood, adolescent and adult immunization schedules are available on the CDC Web site at

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