National Immunization Awareness Month
Each August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed to highlight the many benefits of vaccination for people of all ages. Its primary goal is to emphasize the role vaccines and immunizations play in the prevention of serious – sometimes deadly – diseases.
Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults also need to get vaccinated to stay protected from serious illnesses like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. You need vaccines throughout your life. Adult vaccination rates in the U.S. are extremely low. Each year, thousands of adults needlessly suffer illness, are hospitalized, and even die as a result of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Adults need to keep their vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You are also at risk for different diseases as an adult. Vaccination is one of the most convenient and safest preventive care measures available. ALL adults need:
- Influenza (flu) vaccine every year.
- Every adult should get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine once if they did not receive it as an adolescent to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), and then get a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot every 10 years. In addition, women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.
- Adults may also need other vaccines based on your age, health conditions, job, lifestyle, or travel habits. Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.
This month is a great time to promote vaccines and remind family, friends, and coworkers to stay up to date on their shots. Spread the word!
Tips for Healthy Walking
Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay physically fit. It’s an inexpensive and versatile form of exercise that can be done indoors or outdoors.
- As always, before starting a walking (or any exercise) program, check with your doctor.
- Invest in supportive walking shoes.
- To avoid injury, always warm up.
- Pay attention to your heart rate and breathing.
- Walking posture is important: head up, back straight, and abdomen flat (your arms should swing, and your toes should point straight ahead)
- Track your distance or the number of steps.
- Be sure to carry and drink plenty of water.
- If you get bored, vary your route.
- If you walk outside, be sure to put on your sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses.
- And, have fun!
Celebrate family this month; Go camping or take a vacation, go out for ice cream or enjoy a backyard campfire, take a walk, hike, bike ride or spend a day at the park. Whatever you decide, the most important thing you can do is spend time together as a family!