It’s time for parents to start gathering school supplies and backpacks. It’s also the perfect time to make sure children are up to date on their vaccines.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations for people of all ages — and make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need as they go back to school — Dakota County Public Health is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.
Dakota County Public Health offers immunizations for eligible children and adults. Call 952-891-7999 to schedule an appointment or attend an upcoming walk-in clinic on Sept. 14 in West St. Paul or Sept. 19 in Apple Valley.
“Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children from serious diseases,” said Christine Lees, Public Health supervisor. “If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to check with your child’s doctor to find out what vaccines your child needs.”
National Immunization Awareness Month is also the perfect opportunity to make sure adults are protected against diseases like flu, whooping cough, tetanus, shingles and pneumococcal disease. Public Health will host walk-in immunization clinics at Prince of Peace in Burnsville on Mondays in October from noon-2 p.m. for adults who are underinsured or uninsured.
The specific vaccines adults need are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, risk conditions, locations of travel and previous vaccines. All adults should talk to their health care professionals to make sure they are up to date on vaccines recommended for them.
Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. When children are not vaccinated they are at increased risk for diseases and can also spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.
Talk to your child’s doctor to find out which vaccines are recommended. Parents can find out more about the recommended vaccines on the Centers for Disease Control website, by visiting Dakota County's child and adolescents vaccine page, or calling Dakota County at 952-891-7999.