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Protect yourself from preventable diseases with routine vaccinations

Aug 29, 2023Aug 29, 2023

Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses the importance of routine vaccinations for people of all ages during National Immunization Awareness Month in August. In observance of that, the Health Department is urging people to protect themselves and their children against preventable diseases with immunizations, especially as a new Philadelphia school year gets underway next week and flu season begins not long afterward.

The tremendous impact vaccines have on human health cannot be overstated. Four million deaths worldwide are prevented by childhood vaccinations every year. And thanks to the development of vaccines that protect people against lethal illnesses such as tuberculosis and polio, populations are living almost twice as long as they did a century ago.

Unfortunately, in the last few years people were often unable to go to regular appointments with doctors because of medical office restrictions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth visits were more common and many people did not receive routine vaccinations as a result.

Your healthcare provider can determine which vaccines you may need by reviewing your medical history. You can also determine that for yourself and your adult loved ones by taking the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Quiz. The quiz will provide you with a list of vaccines you and your loved ones may need.

A quiz is also available for children to help you protect your child from vaccine-preventable diseases. That’s especially important this time of year as students in Philadelphia must meet state-mandated vaccination requirements if they are to attend school.

The CDC provides information that can also help adults determine which vaccines they may need based on age, job, travel, life events and health conditions. Information is available, too, on vaccines people need during pregnancy and their children need in the months and years after birth. For example, when your child is between 13 and 18 years of age, they should receive influenza (flu) and meningococcal (MenACWY and MenB) vaccines, among others.

Scientists have done the hard work of developing vaccines to help us live longer, healthier lives. Now, it’s up to us to protect ourselves, our families and our communities from preventable diseases. Talk to your healthcare provider about routine vaccinations or use the links above to help guide you. Get up-to-date on the vaccines you need and stay healthy.