Wednesday, August 25, 2010

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The goal of NIAM is to increase awareness about immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly. August is the perfect time to remind family, friends, co-workers, and those in the community to catch up on their vaccinations. Parents are enrolling their children in school, students are entering college, and healthcare workers are preparing for the upcoming flu season.

Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the U.S., and significantly reduced the number of cases of measles and other diseases. But despite these efforts, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. still die today from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Immunization is one of the most effective ways to protect children and adults against many common infectious diseases. Keeping individuals healthier through immunizations results in lower associated social and financial costs for families, including time lost from school and work, as well as the expense of medical bills. Recommended vaccinations begin soon after birth and continue throughout life, and it’s important to get the right vaccines in the right doses at the right time.

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) believes in the promotion of immunization across the lifespan, and supports efforts to encourage greater acceptance and use of immunization for all ages. HMHB is committed to building partnerships at the local, state and national levels and increasing knowledge and understanding of immunization needs and practices among health care providers and the general public.

The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
2000 N. Beauregard Street
6th Floor
Alexandria, Virginia 22311
Phone: 703.837.4792

The D.C. Department of Health Immunization Program was established to prevent and control vaccine preventable diseases among District residents. The Immunization Program provides free immunization services to uninsured and underinsured District of Columbia residents. The Immunization Program works with other agencies, such as Medicaid, the Community Health Centers (CHC), and the Early Period Screening Detection and Treatment (EPSDT) Program, that deliver immunization services. They aim to keep children healthy and prevent families from acquiring vaccine-preventable diseases.

D.C. Department of Health Immunization Program
6323 Georgia Avenue, NW
Suite 305
Washington, DC 20011
Phone: 202.576.7130

The Immunization Coalition of Washington, D.C. (ICDC) represents the combined forces of the former childhood and adult immunization coalitions of the District of Columbia. Its mission is to improve the health of families in the District of Columbia by promoting linkages to immunization services across the lifespan by linking healthcare providers, patients, payers and community organizations with education, resources, and technical support and through partnerships with regional groups.

Immunization Coalition of Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202.783.7034 ext. 13

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