DHMH Recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month

 Baltimore, MD ( August 17, 2012)- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and health care partners throughout the country in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The national pertussis (also known as whooping cough) epidemic highlights the relevance of immunization awareness.  

 

At of the end of July, the number of confirmed and probable cases of pertussis reported year-to- date in Maryland is more than two and a half times the numbers reported at the same time during the last four years. Pertussis, a vaccine preventable disease, can be fatal in infants.  Immunization of people of all ages with the appropriate pertussis containing vaccine can protect infants too young to be fully immunized from contracting the disease.

“Immunizations aren’t just for babies and young children,” said DHMH  Deputy Secretary Frances B. Phillips. “We encourage all Marylanders to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations.”

Protect yourself and the health of your family and community by being immunized against infectious diseases. Ensure that your children are up to date with the vaccines required for school attendance.  These immunizations are available through your local health department and private provider.

In addition, the influenza season is only a few months away.  Now is the time to talk to your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated against the flu.  This and many more important vaccines are available to protect you and your family against infectious diseases.

For more information on immunizations in Maryland please visit http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/OIDEOR/IMMUN/SitePages/Home.aspx . To learn more about pertussis and hear the sound of the cough, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/default.htm

 

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Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

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