August is National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) and August 1-7 is HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine Week. This makes this month the perfect time to reflect on the essential role vaccinations play in protecting our health. Vaccinations are especially important because according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, children missed routine care and associated vaccinations. [these] rates drop below levels to maintain herd immunity, dangerous outbreaks of preventable diseases could follow.
This is the perfect time to contact your health care provider and make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 2-1-1 San Diego to find a health care provider near you. Everyone needs vaccines throughout their life to protect themselves from disease. Vaccines and boosters are recommended at different stages of life to keep your immune system strong. They boost immunity in the body to help us fight infections.
Who needs vaccines and why?
- Children and adolescents need vaccines to protect themselves from exposure to disease when they play sports or are active in school. Vaccines are also required to attend most schools in California. HPV Vaccination Week also reminds us to promote HPV vaccination among adolescents.
- Infants cannot fight disease alone. They need vaccines at birth, 2, 4, 6 and 12-15 months. When fully immunized, infants are protected against 14 serious diseases. Some vaccines require multiple doses to boost immunity. Young children between the ages of 2 and 6 should receive additional vaccines for better protection.
- Vaccines are recommended for pregnant women to provide immunity and protection for the mother and her baby against diseases during pregnancy and after birth.
- Vaccines and boosters are necessary for adults to protect them. The protection offered by vaccines wears off over time. Additional vaccines may also be recommended based on a person’s work, lifestyle, or travel plans.
- Older people have trouble fighting infections and are more likely to get sick. They may also have health conditions that increase their risk. Vaccines help boost 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 to be vulnerable to disease. This pandemic reminds us of how serious diseases are and the impact they can have when people are not protected by 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 with your vaccines. People aged 6 months and older are now eligible to receive a COVID19 vaccine for Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) and Moderna, and aged 18 and older for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Novavax. To learn more, visit the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility webpage.
Community immunization events
YMCA/Ralphs Vaccination Clinic
- Saturday August 6
- 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Dan McKinney Family YMCA, 8355 Cliffridge Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Ralphs Pharmacy will be on hand to administer MMR, Tdap, HPV and COVID-19 vaccines to children 5 years and older. Walk-ins are welcome. Vaccines can be provided free of charge depending on your insurance coverage. Registration is recommended by calling 858-333-6238. Participants must bring photo ID, proof of insurance and vaccination cards.
Annual backpack giveaway and HPV vaccination clinic
- Saturday August 13
- 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Lemon Grove Recreation Center, 3131 School Lane, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Assemblyman 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 as well as a backpack. Additional community resource tables will also be available for all family members. Registration is recommended.