52 Weeks to Health: Week 33, National Immunization Month

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National Immunization Month

Immunizations are public health’s great success story with the disappearance of many infectious diseases.

Shots may hurt a little, but the diseases they can prevent are a lot worse – some are even life-threatening. Immunization shots, or vaccinations, are essential. They protect against infections like measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis A and B, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Immunizations are also important for adults, especially those against pneumonia, influenza and shingles.

Your immune system helps your body fight germs by producing antibodies to combat them. Once it does, the immune system “remembers” the germ and can fight it again. Vaccines contain germs that have been killed or weakened. When given to a healthy person, the vaccine triggers the immune system to respond and thus build immunity.

Before vaccines, people became immune only by actually getting a disease and surviving it. Immunizations are an easier and less risky way to become immune.

It is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.

Don’t forget to visit our website at www.LCDHD.org and fill out your wellness profile for a chance to win $1,000.00.

Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Press Release: Week 33 – National Immunization Month.pdf