August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Nebraska City News-Press

The Southeast District Health Department wants to remind parents and other adults that vaccines play a very important role in keeping us healthy. They help protect us from serious and sometimes deadly diseases — like haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and measles.

The shots may hurt a little, but the diseases they can prevent are a lot worse. Some are even life-threatening. Immunization shots, or vaccinations, are essential. They protect against things like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunizations are important for children and also for adults.

Your immune system helps your body fight germs by producing substances to combat them. Once it does, the immune system "remembers" the germ and can fight it again. Vaccines contain germs that have been killed or weakened. When given to a healthy person, the vaccine triggers the immune system to respond and to build up immunity.

Before vaccines, people became immune only by actually getting a disease and surviving it. Immunizations are an easier and less risky way to become immune.

To learn more go to CDC Vaccines. For information about vaccinations for children, visit the Vaccine schedule Birth - 6 years  or the Vaccine schedule 7-18 years .