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World Immunization Week runs from April 25 to May 2. Have you and your family caught up on your vaccines?
Vaccines help protect people of all ages against life-threatening diseases, such as measles, polio and COVID-19.
Your primary care provider can help you and your family know which vaccines you need and how to stick to your schedule.
Vaccines teach your body’s immune system to recognize and defend against viruses and bacteria that cause infectious diseases. They protect you and the people around you by slowing or even stopping the spread of disease. Experts estimate that vaccines (sometimes called immunizations) help prevent nearly six million deaths worldwide each year.
The World Health Organization has declared April 25 to May 2 as World Immunization Week 2022 to raise awareness of the importance of vaccines. Take a few minutes to learn more about this important topic and speak to your doctor if you have any questions or need to “catch up” on your injections.
Learn about vaccines.
Vaccinations for children
Babies and young children should be vaccinated on a schedule to achieve maximum protection against infectious diseases. The most common childhood vaccines include:
Children who are on schedule with these vaccines finish their shots (more or less) by the age of six. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pediatricians also recommend other vaccines throughout childhood, including adolescence.
Make the children catch up to their shots
About four in 10 families said they were behind on their child’s vaccines in 2020 due to the pandemic. Many remain outside the program. The good news is that catching up isn’t difficult. In fact, you may be able to do it in one visit to the pediatrician’s office.
If a lack of health insurance or worries about healthcare costs prevent you from catching up with your child, be aware that free or low-cost vaccines are available. Check your county’s health department website to see where they offer free vaccines. Another useful resource is the federal government’s childhood vaccine program.
Vaccines during pregnancy
Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine and an influenza vaccine during each pregnancy. The Tdap vaccine is essential because it protects against whooping cough, which can be fatal in infants. Infants cannot receive the Tdap vaccine until they are at least two months old.
The CDC also recommends that pregnant women get vaccinated against COVID-19. Depending on a woman’s medical history and travel plans, she may also need other vaccines.
Immunizations for adults
Vaccinations are not just for children and pregnant women! Adults 19 and older should also get vaccinated. The body’s immune system becomes less effective as we age, especially in our later years.
Vaccines are available for adults for a wide range of conditions. With few exceptions, all adults should receive the following vaccines:
Depending on their medical condition and vaccination history, some adults should also be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Vaccinations that help prevent cancer
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common infection transmitted through sexual contact that can lead to cancer or genital warts. HPV vaccinations provide protection against this infection.
The American Cancer Society recommends that boys and girls get the HPV vaccine between the ages of 9 and 12. Teens and young adults up to age 26 who are not yet vaccinated should get the HPV vaccine as soon as possible.
Another vaccine that reduces a person’s risk of cancer provides protection against the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B causes liver disease that can be mild or become a serious long-term illness leading to liver cancer. liver. The HBV vaccine is available for all age groups.
And don’t forget the COVID-19 vaccine!
Vaccines for COVID-19 can help you avoid getting seriously ill, being hospitalized or dying from the disease. Anyone five years of age and older can now get a free COVID-19 vaccine. To find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you, search vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233.
Find a doctor
If you would like to learn more about vaccinations for you or your family, you can find a Providence primary care provider using our provider directory.
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This information is not intended to replace professional medical care. Always follow the instructions of your healthcare professional.