August is National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and Aug. 1 to 7 is HPV (human papillomavirus) Vaccine Week. That makes this month the perfect time to reflect upon the critical role vaccinations have in protecting our health. Vaccinations are particularly important because according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, children have missed routine well-child care and related vaccinations. If [these] rates decline below levels to maintain herd immunity, dangerous outbreaks of preventable diseases could follow.”
Now is a great time to contact your healthcare provider and ensure you are up to date with your vaccines. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 2-1-1 San Diego to find a healthcare provider near you. Everyone needs vaccines throughout their lifetime to protect themselves from diseases. Vaccines and boosters are recommended at different stages in life to keep your immune system strong. They build immunity in the body to help us fight off infections.
Who needs vaccines and why?
- Children and teens need vaccines to protect from disease exposure while playing sports or active at school. Vaccines are also required to attend most schools in California. HPV Vaccine Week also reminds us to promote HPV vaccinations in adolescents.
- Infants cannot fight diseases on their own. They need vaccines at birth, 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months. Once fully vaccinated, infants are protected from 14 serious diseases. Some vaccines require multiple doses to build immunity. Young children ages 2-6 should receive additional vaccines for the best protection.
- Vaccines are recommended for pregnant women to provide immunity and protection for the mother and her baby from diseases during pregnancy and after birth.
- Vaccines and boosters are needed for adults to keep them protected. The protection provided by vaccines wears off over time. Additional vaccines may also be recommended based on a person’s job, lifestyle, or travel plans.
- Older adults struggle to fight off infections and are more likely to get sick. They may also have health conditions that increase their risk. Vaccines help increase immunity to help keep them healthy.
COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role vaccines play in keeping us healthy. We have all experienced what it is like to be vulnerable to illness. This pandemic reminds us of how serious diseases are and the impact they can have when people do not have protection through natural immunity or vaccines. Diseases affect our health, our well-being, and our community. Vaccines are available to help prevent many diseases. Make sure you are protected and up to date on your vaccines. Persons ages 6 months and older are now eligible to receive a COVID19 vaccine for Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) and Moderna, and ages 18 years and older for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Novavax. To learn more visit, the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility webpage.
Community Vaccination Events
YMCA/Ralphs Vaccination Clinic
- Saturday, Aug. 6
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Dan McKinney Family YMCA, 8355 Cliffridge Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Ralphs Pharmacy will be on-site to administer MMR, Tdap, HPV, and COVID-19 vaccines to ages 5 and older. Walk-ins are welcome. Vaccines may be provided at no cost based on your insurance coverage. Registration is recommended by calling 858-333-6238. Attendees must bring a photo ID, proof of insurance, and vaccination cards.
Annual Backpack Giveaway and HPV Vaccination Clinic
- Saturday, Aug. 13
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber (79th Assembly District), in partnership with Champions For Health and San Diego Protecting Against HPV, is hosting an HPV vaccination clinic with additional vaccines available for COVID-19 along with a backpack giveaway. Additional community resource tables will also be available for all members of the family. Registration is recommended.
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