Newsflash! It’s August. That means three things. First, you have roughly four and a half months, give or take a few days, to complete your winter holiday shopping. Second, it’s National Immunization Awareness Month. Third, for some students around the country, school is just around the corner – literally for some, figuratively for most.NIAM Logo

That shrill cry you hear in the distance is the cumulative plea of children’s hearts, begging for summer to last just a little bit longer. Or maybe it’s the plea of children yearning to return to school and escape the torment of their annoying older/younger siblings. Either way, summer is nearly over.

Soon the kids will be back in classrooms surrounded by their peers who may or may not be coughing to beat the band. Who knows if students know to cough like a vampire and cover their mouths. Who knows if they’ll wash their hands before touching the doorknob, or their desk, or another child’s pencil, or another child. What if they cough or sneeze into the oscillating fan? Oh the horror! Most importantly, who knows if that cough they’re sporting, that seems to originate from the very depths of their soul, is just the common cold, or if it’s whooping cough, or tuberculosis. Admittedly, one of the three is more likely. BUT, the point is, you just never know what you’re going to face at school, or anywhere for that matter.

As the school year nears, and many students are required to receive and provide proof of immunizations prior to enrolling, now is a good time to bring attention to immunizations that can help prevent common childhood diseases from spreading like wildfire. The debate to, or not to, immunize isn’t going anywhere, and a national awareness month isn’t going to change that. But hopefully both sides of the immunization argument can agree that awareness and information on immunizations is beneficial to all.

So, this National Immunization Awareness month, spread the word. Bring awareness to immunizations, the risks, and the benefits, and maybe we can all avoid the too real scenarios described above.

Immunization resources:

Kathryn Sloop

Written by Kathryn Sloop

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