August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Immunizations, or vaccines, are a crucial component of individual and public health. The earliest forms of vaccines date back hundreds of years – to the year 1000 – when Buddhist monks would drink snake venom to gain immunity from snake bites. Since then, vaccine science has come a long way so that now a variety of safe and effective immunizations are available. Keep reading to learn more about vaccines and how you can protect yourself from infectious disease.
How Vaccines Work
Vaccines are a fascinating medical technology as they rely on complex body systems to achieve a simple idea: train your body to fight a disease before it encounters an infection. Click the link below to discover exactly how vaccines accomplish their mission.
With many vaccines available, it’s difficult to keep track of all the guidelines and recommendations. Take the assessment below to find out what vaccines you may be due for, and ask your provider at your next visit.
Vaccinations in infancy are essential because they help provide immunity when our immune systems are weakest. Most childhood vaccinations are recommended during your baby’s first 12 to 18 months of life, or as soon as they are born.
Children & Adolescents
Before entering school or daycare, children must be vaccinated to help mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Check with your local school to see what vaccines are required, or visit the link below to find out which vaccines Florida schools require.
Adults 18 and over need to be vigilant in keeping their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. Adults are also at an increased risk for infectious disease due to their occupations or lifestyles.
Chronic conditions that often affect older adults, such as heart disease, can weaken the immune system. It is important for older adults to continue immunization to avoid hospitalization or complications from preventable disease.
Adults should consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but confusion persists about the different vaccines available and how to get a vaccine. Click the link below to learn more about if the vaccine is right for you.
For Children & Teens
The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are now approved for children and teens. Click the link below to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccination guidelines for those under 18.
Where to Go
If you are interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine but are not sure where to go to receive one, click the link below to find a vaccination site near you that meets your specific needs.
|DT||Diptheria and tetanus vaccine (child formulation)|
|DTaP||Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine (child formulation)|
|HepB||Hepatitis B vaccine|
|HPV||Human papillomavirus vaccine|
|Hib||Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine|
|IPV||Inactivated poliovirus vaccine|
|MMR||Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine|
|Td||Tetanus and diphtheria vaccine (adolescent and adult formulation)|
|VAR||Varicella vaccine (Chicken pox)|
It can be difficult to recognize the vaccines listed on vaccination records as they are often abbreviated. The table below lists common vaccine abbreviations and the diseases they correspond with. A full list of vaccine abbreviations and their definitions can be found here.