The North Carolina Division of Public Health and local health departments across the state are celebrating August as National Immunization Awareness Month by encouraging North Carolinians of all ages to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.
“With the emergence of H1N1 influenza, immunization awareness is more important than ever,” said State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel. “Adults, parents and children need to be aware of what immunizations they need to protect themselves from H1N1 influenza, seasonal influenza, and other diseases.”
“August is great time of year of find out whether you and your children are up to date on vaccinations,” said Beth Rowe-West, RN, BSN, and head of the Immunization Branch. “Students are going back to school, and the regular influenza season is fast approaching. Take the opportunity to speak with your health care provider about which immunizations you and each member of your family may need.”
Local health departments across the state will commemorate NIAM with special activities. Here are some of the planned events:
TRENTON, JONES COUNTY
Event: Walk-in clinics
Location: Jones County Health Department
Date/Time: Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WILMINGTON, NEW HANOVER COUNTY
Event: Childhood Immunization class
Location: New Hanover County Health Department
Date/Time: August 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
ELIZABETH CITY, PASQUOTANK COUNTY
Event: Walk-in and after-hours clinics
Location: Albemarle Regional Health Services
Date/Time: Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Contact: Jill Jordan, 252-338-4483
Health experts say vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
National Immunization Awareness Month is an annual observance to highlight the importance of immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly.
For more information on planned activities contact the N.C. Immunization Branch at 919-707-5550.