Public health officials emphasize National Immunization Awareness Month
BATH, N.Y. (WENY) -- August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of vaccinations for all ages. Steuben County Public Health Officials are emphasizing the benefits of vaccines, with a goal of ensuring you and your family are well protected.
"We know that communicable or infectious diseases still exist. We're seeing those kind of coming back; more so because people in other countries still have some of the deadly diseases that we don't see as often here and they're traveling," says Lorelei Wagner, Steuben County Public Health Education Coordinator.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of American adults get sick each year from diseases vaccines can prevent.
"As we've seen kind of downstate, there are outbreaks that occur and once they start if people are not protected they can become pretty rampant so it's really important to have those protections from the vaccine that's offered to make sure that the disease doesn't get spread," Wagner explains.
Following the largest measles outbreak in 25 years, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a law in June banning religious exemptions for vaccines.
"Within the first 14 days after the school year starts anyone has to have started the first vaccine of whatever series that they need to catch up on. And then within 30 days of the first days of school they need to have an appointment scheduled to catch up on all of their vaccines," says Wagner.
"If they don't, they will not be allowed to attend school, and that also extends to daycares. So it's something that people should be aware of. We at Public Health, hold two monthly clinics so we do have 2 clinics coming up before the school year starts. Call your doctor's office. Get scheduled just so that your children don't have interrupted school time," Wagner adds.
Those health clinics are happening on Wednesday, August 14th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 27th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. September's sessions will occur on September 11th (1:00 p.m. -- 3:00 p.m.) and September 24th (4:30 p.m. -- 6:30 p.m.)
Additional resources from the CDC, including an interactive guide for parents, can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fvaccines%2Fevents%2Fniam.html