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To Your Health: August is National Immunization Awareness Month

by Reprinted from UofL Physicians-Insider last modified Aug 15, 2013 01:38 PM

August is the perfect time for children going back to school to get immunized, and it’s also a great opportunity for the whole family to think about getting immunizations before the winter flu and other diseases strike.

We all need immunizations to help protect us from serious diseases like measles, diphtheria and rubella. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.

Everyone six months and older needs a seasonal flu shot every year. Other shots, however, work best when they are given at certain ages.

UofL Physicians has conducted research evaluating the long-term neuropsychological impacts of multiple vaccinations received in the first seven months of life. Receiving shots on-time is safe and varying the immunization schedule may be dangerous for infants, said Michael J. Smith, UofL Physicians – Pediatric Infectious Diseases and lead author of the study.

“The study suggests that delaying vaccines does not give infants any advantage in terms of brain development,” he said.

Children and teens should receive all recommended immunizations by the time they go back to school. Adults, especially health care workers, need to receive proper vaccines to protect themselves and lessen the possibility of spreading diseases to others. Pregnant women also should be vaccinated to protect newborns from diseases like whooping cough.

Flu season is coming up quickly. Talk to your doctor to make sure everyone in the family gets the shots they need.

Editor’s Note: UofL Today reprints To Your Health articles from the “UofL Physicians-Insider” newsletter. Read the entire August Issue (opens as a PDF document).

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