World Immunization Week

World Immunization Week, April 23- 30, 2015, signals a renewed global effort to increase our knowledge of and access to vaccines.

What is immunization? It is a process in which a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against the infection or disease. Immunization is estimated to save between 2 million to 3 million lives worldwide each year.

In addition to the diseases for which vaccines have been long available, children now can be protected against pneumonia and rotaviral diarrhea, two leading causes of death in young children. Adolescents can be protected against life-threatening diseases such as influenza, meningitis and cancer (cervical and liver) because of new vaccines.

World Immunization Week provides a timely opportunity to review your children’s and your own records and make sure they are current. Be aware that schools now are requiring a booster dose, or two-dose series of varicella/chicken pox vaccine for fall enrollment in 2015.

As a preventive service, vaccines now are covered by all insurances and Medicaid, with no out-of-pocket cost. They are readily available from most primary-care offices as well as the School Based Health Centers at Durango High and Florida Mesa Elementary schools, Community Clinics and local health departments.

Please immunize, and do not take unnecessary risks with your own and your children’s health.

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