August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which is designed to educate parents and the public about the need for improving national immunization levels. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported a high vaccination rate for children two years old and under in 2011, but the levels have to be maintained to reduce the effects of diseases and prevent resurgence.
“One of the things about it is that since we almost never see these diseases in this county, people don’t understand how bad these diseases can be,” said David Fenner, a pediatrician with the Children’s Medical Group in Rhinebeck and other sites.
Fenner said immunizations stimulate a person’s immune system to produce antibodies that provide protection against infections. Most vaccines are given as a shot and target precise infections per recommended immunization schedules set by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.