Immunization Awareness Month

Marinette County Public Health Department stresses the importance of immunizations during the month of August, which is National Immunization Awareness Month.

One of the Marinette County Public Health Department’s main focuses is prevention. Immunization is an important aspect of preventative medicine, said Mary Rosner, Public Health Officer.

Vaccines are important throughout a person’s lifetime.

Immunization is one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th century.

“Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, eliminated wild poliovirus in the United States and significantly reduced the number of measles, diphtheria, rubella, pertussis and other diseases,” Rosner said in a statement.

Despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines, cases of vaccine-preventable diseases continue to occur in Wisconsin annually.

Vaccines offer safe and effective protection from infectious diseases, she said.

By staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines, individuals can protect themselves, their family and their community from serious, life threatening infections and complications of the disease.

Immunizations are recommended during infancy, adolescence and adulthood.

Immunizations are also recommended for certain diseases that may be encountered while traveling outside the United States.

Even healthy adults can become seriously ill, and can pass illness on to others, reports the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Immunization is especially important for adults 60 years of age and older, and for those who have a chronic condition such as asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease.

Getting ready for college means making sure you are up to date on all doses of the recommended vaccines – both to protect yourself and others around you, CDC officials said.

Because some diseases can spread quickly in settings like college dorms and classrooms, many colleges and universities have vaccination entry requirements.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their classroom and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions, CDC officials said.

Schools are highly susceptible to outbreaks of infectious diseases because students can easily transmit illnesses to one another as a result of poor hand washing, uncovered coughs and dense populations.

Children age 4 to 6 are due for boosters of four vaccines: DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio.

Older children – like preteens and teens – need Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), MCV (meningococcal conjugate vaccine) and HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccines. A yearly flu vaccine is recommended for all children 6 months and older.

The Marinette County Public Health Department is able to administer vaccines free of charge to individuals with Medical Assistance, no insurance, underinsured, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.

Certain vaccines are available for eligible adults free of charge that do not meet these criteria. Those with health insurance should check with their primary health care provider for immunizations.

Vaccines available to adults regardless of insurance status:

Hepatitis B – $35 per dose.

Shingles – $200 per dose.

Influenza – $20 per dose.

Pneumococcal – $50 per dose.

Tetanus per Diphtheria – $30 per dose.

Tetanus per Diphtheria per Petussis – Free (due to current outbreak).

“Marinette County Public Health Department encourages everyone to learn more about the recommended vaccines,” Rosner said. “Protect yourself, your family and your community.”

Call the Marinette County Public Health Department with any questions regarding immunizations, to check eligibility or to schedule an appointment.

The Marinette County Public Health Department can be contacted at 715-732-7670.