For Immediate Release
August 9, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Topeka In its work to help Kansans protect themselves from serious diseases, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.

Immunizations can prevent infectious diseases like chickenpox, whooping cough and meningitis. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), each year immunizations save thousands of lives and billions of dollars throughout the United States.

Immunizations work, but in order to work correctly it’s important to know which immunizations or vaccinations you need and when to get them.

“We all need a variety of immunizations to not only help protect us throughout our lifetime, but to also help protect those around us,” said Mike Parsons, immunization outreach coordinator with KDHE’s Bureau of Disease Control & Prevention (BDCP). “August is a busy time for immunizations as children head back to school and we enter into the influenza (flu) season. Contact your health provider or local health department to see what immunizations you may need today.”

Everyone over age 6 months needs to be vaccinated against seasonal flu every year. Other vaccinations work best when they are given at certain ages. Here are some general guidelines:

• Children need a series of vaccinations from birth to age 6.
• Pre-teens need recommended vaccinations at age 11 or 12, as well as teenagers as they enter into high school and college, vaccinate before you graduate.
• All adults need a variety of vaccinations to prevent diseases such as whooping cough, pneumonia, influenza (flu), shingles and more.

For more information on immunizations, visit http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/index.html.