August 19

National Immunization Awareness Month

As August begins it brings with it National Immunization Awareness Month. I would like to discuss some of the vaccines that I believe are safe and most beneficial to the health and wellness of our IFFH community and anyone wanting to prevent illness. 

The number 1 on my list is the  Annual influenza vaccination, the season and timing for this vaccine starts September 2020 to March 2021. It is recommended for all persons ages 6 months or older to decrease the risk of morbidity and mortality that can be caused by the influenza virus.  Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic we need to decrease the overall burden of respiratory illness.  Unfortunately health officials do not know what the future holds for returning back to school and jobs because of COVID-19.  Although, we do know that many other viruses can be spread easily but remember that washing your hands, wearing your face coverings and social distancing will be helpful.  

Number 2 on the list is the Shingrix Vaccine to protect the individual from getting shingles and the complications that can occur from the disease.  This vaccine is recommended for healthy adults 50 years or older.  If you previously had a different vaccine for shingles it is still recommended that you get the two part Shingrix vaccine because it has more success in prevention and decreasing the complications from the disease if a patient has had it in the past.

Number 3 is Pneumococcal vaccine and it is recommended for patients  65 years and older to receive the PCV13 and then the PCV 23 1 year later.  This two part series of vaccines protects against infections that are caused by the pneumococcal virus like meningitis and other bloodstream infections. 

There are so many other vaccines that have great success in preventing disease but these are my top 3 to mention at this time. Please feel free to contact us for an appointment to discuss any vaccines that you may be behind on or have an interest in learning more about.  We would love to help you prevent illness during this difficult time because  nobody has time to be sick in our busy lives. Also if you should have any reservations about getting any vaccines please feel free to call and schedule so we can discuss your concerns. We would be happy to provide as much education that  we can to put your concerns at ease. Your health and wellness is our priority. 

~ Allison Stepanenko, MSN, RN, FNP-C


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