We, at Schneider Medical Group Internal Medicine, Raleigh, are one with the entire medical community in celebrating the National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This observation, sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) and in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is celebrated in August each year. It aims to raise awareness of the various vaccines available to help curb the spread of deadly diseases.
NIAM is also a chance to acknowledge the success of immunizations done at the turn of the 20th century to the present. It comprises not just vaccines given to babies and children, but also to adults who need protection against the flu, pneumonia, measles and other serious diseases.
Dangers of Being Unvaccinated
The CDC has warned that measles cases in the United States have increased to 70% in 2019 because people refused to get a measles immunization. Parents are especially wary of their children developing autism as a speculated side effect. This belief makes them distrustful of pharmaceutical companies that profit from the vaccines.
But, being unvaccinated exposes people to outbreaks, especially the cancer patients or those with weak immune systems. They may develop severe complications that would have otherwise been prevented had the people around them availed of the proper immunization.
Babies with routine visits to clinics or hospitals are susceptible to diseases that might have lifetime or life-threatening effects. Such was the case in California during a whooping cough outbreak, where 10 babies under two months old died because they were too young to be vaccinated. Unprotected against the virus, the babies were exposed to unvaccinated children.
While it’s hard to convince those with strong-held beliefs against vaccination, there are proper ways to advocate for this while keeping the conversations open, pleasant and respectful. The American Academy of Pediatrics also advised pediatricians to be compassionate and thoughtful when talking about vaccines to a parent who is still not convinced that it is for the benefit of the greater public.
NIAM ToolKit and Core Message
Thus, to deliver the message clearly, the CDC has released two kinds of toolkits to educate and inform the public during the NIAM: Communicating with Healthcare Professionals | Communicating with Parents and Patients
These toolkits highlight the following messages:
- There are deadly diseases that may lead to outbreaks
- Vaccines can protect against these diseases
- For certain vaccines to work, immunization can also extend up to adulthood with doses needing to be applied every few years
- Vaccines are proven to be safe, despite the never-ending debates
How to Observe NIAM in Your Community
If you support vaccination, you can also observe NIAM within your community. If you have the toolkit ready, you can:
- Discuss with friends and family that vaccines aren’t just for children. Even adults can get shots to protect themselves from outbreaks.
- Talk to your neighbors about the benefits of yearly flu vaccines for adults, or completing the immunization programs for children.
- Consider holding a talk with nurses or doctors who can best explain the advantages of vaccination and the fallouts of being unvaccinated.
The decision to undergo immunization might be a personal one. However, it remains a huge responsibility for parents who can save the life of their baby, or the life of someone else.
If you have questions about immunization, don’t hesitate to contact our internal medicine doctor in Raleigh. It is important to get the guidance from a qualified medical doctor to avoid misinformation and faulty judgment when it comes to vaccination. This is because not only is your, or your family’s life affected, but also the health of the entire community.
Learn more about Dr. Schneider in Internal Medicine, Raleigh
Dr. Schneider’s office provides extended scheduling hours for office visits and a direct 24 hour line of communication every day. Book your appointment with our doctor in internal medicine, Raleigh now! For inquiries, call us at 919-301-8971.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.