Immunizations, otherwise known as vaccinations, currently avert an estimated two to three million deaths every year, by preventing illnesses such as cervical cancer, measles, mumps, whooping cough and tetanus. However, despite the important role immunizations play in protecting us throughout our everyday lives, there’s often a lot we don’t understand about them. In honor of National Immunization Month (August), we wanted to highlight the importance of vaccinations for you and your family. Test your immunizations smarts by taking this quiz:
- How many diseases do vaccines help protect against? A) 10 B) 14 C) 16 D) 22 Answer: C) 16Vaccinations are one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases,including chickenpox, mumps and measles.
- True or False: Some adults don’t need immunizations. Answer: False.All adults need to stay up-to-date with vaccinations. See here for recommendations on vaccines based on your age.
- True or False: Every adult needs a seasonal flu shot each year, even if the flu season is very mild. Answer: True The flu vaccine can help prevent illness, even during mild flu seasons, which comes in handy where missed work days and family sickness is concerned. Flu shots are especially important for people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women and older adults. See here for more information on vaccine recommendations.
- True or False: Travelers should look into region-specific vaccines before booking an international trip. Answer: True There are some preventable diseases in other countries that do not commonly occur in the U.S. Because of this, the U.S. does not automatically include them in its vaccine schedule. To make sure your family is fully protected against dangerous diseases, be sure to learn about the region-specific vaccines needed for each country.
- If most kids are vaccinated against a disease, does it really matter if you vaccinate your own child? Answer: Yes. Diseases like measles can spread very quickly. When a small population of people forgo vaccinations, it can impact those who are more vulnerable such as infants and those with weakened immune systems. There are many vaccine resources for parents here.
If you have additional questions about vaccines, check out Blue Care Network of Michigan’s Immunization Facebook app. For more information on the importance of immunizations, check out these blogs:
- Vaccines at the Pharmacy: What you Need to Know
- What you Need to Know about Bacterial Meningitis
- Amp up your Resistance with an Annual Flu Vaccination
Photo credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District