Poughkeepsie … Thousands of Americans get sick from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines every year. Some of these diseases end in death. Immunization is the best protection against these diseases. Dutchess County is proud to recognize August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), celebrating the importance of on-time immunizations for a healthy start and lifetime.
“You want to do what is best for your children,” said A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, Dutchess County Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health. “One of the most effective ways to protect your children is to make sure they receive all their vaccinations.”
Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox. Most childhood vaccines are administered during the first two years of life.
“Following the recommended schedule is the best protection you can give your child,” said Dr. Vaidian. “These vaccines are designed to enhance the infant immune system.”
Vaccination is a critical step in protecting those most vulnerable to disease. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems.
There are some vaccines, such as the flu shot and the Tdap vaccine, that a woman can receive during pregnancy to protect her child before and after birth. Tdap is a combination vaccine which protects against tetanus and diphtheria as well as whooping cough.
Dutchess County Immunization Clinic offers appointments for individuals without health insurance. To make an appointment, please call 845-486-3535. View immunization schedules and learn more about immunizations at DutchessNY.gov/Immunizations.