Family dinner

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The body has a natural ability to adapt and protect against injury and disease. Medical practitioners and researchers have spent centuries identifying ways to enhance and strengthen these built-in healing properties. Infectious diseases throughout history have illustrated the value of vaccination to support the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month and offers a collection of tools and resources to encourage participation.

School physicals help keep childhood immunizations on track. Similarly, incentives from Medicare and other health plans for annual wellness exams provide opportunities for adult immunizations. Beyond the primary care setting, pharmacies routinely promote and provide on-site immunization in retail and grocery stores for influenza, pneumococcal, shingles and now COVID-19.

With a strong history of high vaccination rates throughout the Dakotas, health care professionals are working to help individuals catch up on basic immunizations that were missed due to limited health care access and social isolation practices resulting from the pandemic.

Great Plains Quality Innovation Network continues to provide technical assistance and support for organization seeking to improve influenza, pneumococcal and COVID-19 vaccination rates. Contact Dee Kaser, RN, CDCES, or Tammy Wagner, RN, LSSGB, for more information.