Michigan families urged to embrace "power to protect" in recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2020
Contact: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – Vaccines are proven to protect people from serious diseases at every age. During National Immunization Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) urges you to talk to your health care provider to ensure you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

National Immunization Awareness Month is observed throughout the month of August and highlights the importance of getting all recommended vaccines throughout your life.

“Vaccinating on time and following CDC’s recommended schedule is the best protection against serious diseases like measles, hepatitis A, whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and influenza,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We have the power to protect not only ourselves, but our entire community, when we vaccinate on time, every time.”

Maintaining routine vaccination is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. On-time vaccinations protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks, and can help reduce the burden on the health care system. This allows Michigan to conserve medical resources in case they are needed to care for people with COVID-19.

According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR), as of June 2020 only 53.9 percent of Michigan children 19 through 35 months of age were fully immunized with recommended vaccines.

MDHHS encourages Michiganders to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout a child’s life. Adults, 19 and older, can take the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool to find out which vaccines they may need. Routine vaccination is an essential preventive care service for children, adolescents and adults, including pregnant women, that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important that all Michiganders are up-to-date on recommended vaccines.

Parents should contact their child’s health care provider to find out what vaccines their child needs, schedule an appointment, and discuss the safety measures put in place to protect patients. If insurance coverage has been disrupted during this unprecedented time or there is concern about being able to afford childhood vaccines, there is a program that can help.

The Michigan Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines for children through age 18 years who are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, underinsured, American Indian, or Alaska Native. Parents can contact their health care provider or local health department for more information. Please be aware the health departments remain active with COVID-19 response and may provide limited services at this time; call ahead for details.

During National Immunization Awareness Month, MDHHS joins Franny Strong Foundation, with whom it partners with on the I Vaccinate campaign, and other organizations across the nation to spread the message that vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect health and lower risks for certain diseases and cancers. MDHHS will be sharing information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines. Help us spread the word. Follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Facebook and Twitter (@MichiganHHS), and use #ivax2protect to share why you choose to vaccinate.

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