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Network Health Blog

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

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What Vaccines Do I Need and When Should I Get Them?

By Michele Eggers, quality care coordinator at Network Health
Originally published on 8/13/2021 at 3:40 p.m.

Although there are no federal holidays in the month of August, it often winds up being a busy month due to back-to-school pressure and families trying to squeeze in activities before the fall.

August not only is a busy time of the year it is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. During this month, health professionals strive to highlight the importance of vaccination for all age groups.

In terms of which vaccines are important, we’ve compiled a short list.

Vaccines for before and after pregnancy

Staying up to date with vaccines before and during pregnancy not only helps protect you from illnesses that could lead to birth defects, the vaccines provide some immunity to your baby for the first few months of their life.

  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) - prior to becoming pregnant
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) - during the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Flu - by the end of October, in line with adult vaccination instructions

Vaccines for children, adolescents and teenagers

Keeping up with recommended vaccination schedules helps boost immunity before children are exposed to illness. Some vaccines require multiple doses to build immunity. As children get older and go to school, additional vaccinations are recommended to extend protection.

Recommended vaccines for birth to age 2

  • Chickenpox (varicella) - at 12-15 months old
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) - at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 15-18 months old
  • Flu - every year by the end of October, starting at 6 months old
  • Hemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) - at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months (as needed and depending on the brand used) and 12-15 months old
  • Hepatitis A - at 12-23 months old, and a second dose 6 months later
  • Hepatitis B - shortly after birth, at 1-2 months, and 6-18 months old
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) - at 12-15 months old (sooner if traveling abroad)
  • Pneumococcal (PCV13) - at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 12-15 months old
  • Polio (IPV) - at 2 months, 4 months and 6-18 months old
  • Rotavirus (RV) - at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months old (as needed and depending on the brand used)

Recommended vaccines for ages 3-10 years old

  • Chickenpox (varicella) - at 4-6 years old
  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTap) - at 4-6 years old
  • Flu - every year, by the end of October
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) - at 4-6 years old
  • Polio (IPV) - at 4-6 years old

Recommended vaccines for ages 11-18 years old

  • Flu - every year, by the end of October
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) - at 11-12 years with a second dose 6-12 months later
  • Meningococcal conjugate - at 11-12 years, and at 16 years old
  • Serogroup B meningococcal - may be given at 16-23 years old. Discuss with your doctor
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine - at 11-12 years old
  • Additional vaccines may be recommended for those traveling outside of the United States

Vaccinations for adults

  • Flu - every year, by the end of October
  • Tetanus (Td) - every ten years
  • Shingles vaccine - healthy adults, 50 years and older
  • Pneumococcal followed by pneumococcal polysaccharide - adults 65 years and older and also adults younger than 65 with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer or HIV
  • Additional vaccines may be recommended based on health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits

COVID-19 vaccination

In addition to routine vaccinations, the CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for people 12 years and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 years and older
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for ages 18 years and older
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine for ages 18 years and older

Immunizations – a crucial part of preventative care in August and throughout the year

Immunizations are vital to reducing the spread of disease and helping to protect you and others from outbreaks of potentially serious illnesses.

>>> READ MORE: 6 Myths About Vaccines <<<

For more information about how your Wisconsin-based health plan can help you get the most out of every season, contact us today.

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