Recently, our blog has been focused on health care reform and issues raised for both employers and the health care industry. But, with August being “National Immunization Awareness Month,” it seems a good time to take a short break from reform laws and focus on our own health.
Sponsored by the CDC and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, this annual reminder is well timed. August ushers in the new school year and is also when we start to get coverage of predictions for the new flu season. Seal flu, anyone?
As a general guideline, the recommendation is that everyone age six months and older needs a seasonal flu shot every year. Other shots work best when they’re given at certain ages. Public and private schools also require certain vaccinations for incoming students.
Shots can prevent infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria and rubella. But people in the U.S. still die from these and other vaccine-preventable diseases. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
Not convinced? Consider this … in 2000, the CDC declared “measles elimination” in the United States, meaning that year-round transmission had ended. During the following decade a median of 60 cases per year were reported. In 2011, however, the number climbed to over 220. Other diseases are also making a comeback. The CDC predicts that 2012 will see the highest number of cases of whooping cough in over 50 years. Over 18,000 cases have been reported already this year, more than twice the total number of cases reported in 2011.
Do you know if your vaccinations are up to date? This may be a good month to find out.
[Posted by Sue Skindzier-Todd, benefits advisor at Digital Benefit Advisors, a division of Digital Insurance]