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Community effort needed for proper immunization practices

| August 26, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

If I told you that there was a simple, cost-effective strategy for safeguarding members of our community from deadly diseases, wouldn't you want to make sure that your loved ones were protected? You can by making sure that they are up-to-date on their immunizations. Vaccines are a key to disease prevention for people of all ages.

Immunization is responsible for the control of many infectious diseases that were once common in this country. Immunization has reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that routinely killed or harmed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults. The viruses and bacteria that cause diseases, such as diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, chickenpox and influenza, still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctor's visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.

This message is of particular note as the summer comes to a close. August has been designated as National Immunization Awareness Month because it is the time of year when parents are enrolling children in school and older students are entering college. With the start of school, come requirements that children and older adolescents are up-to-date on their immunizations. The start of fall also marks the beginning of flu season and the need for everyone to protect themselves from this deadly disease. Immunization is important for people of all ages. Check with your doctor to determine what immunizations are right for you.

I encourage everyone in our community to make sure that they and their loved ones are up-to-date on their immunizations.

Patti Reichert-Dalby

Healthy Mothers,

Healthy Babies Coalition