National Immunization Awareness Month – August

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The Reason Behind National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month is observed annually in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people in the United States. We are using this opportunity to raise awareness of the significance of vaccinations for animals and the eradication of deadly diseases.

In honor of National Immunization Awareness Month (NIM), the American Veterinary Medical Association is urging its owners to consider immunizing their pets. That includes all breeds of dogs, cats, horses, and more!

national immunization awareness month banner

As it’s easy to remain ignorant about this crucial topic and put your animal at risk.

The first vaccine ever developed was for the immunization of people against smallpox, and it was developed in 1797 by Edward Jenner.

The first vaccine that could be used in animals but was primarily used in people was the rabies vaccine in 1885, developed by Louis Pasteur and Emilie Roux.

Our Top Tips on Pet Vaccinations

1) All Animals Require a Series of Vaccines
Just like humans, animals are susceptible to diseases and infections that can be spread from other animals or humans. That’s why it’s crucial that your vet understands which vaccines are needed for your dog, cat, horse, or more! Some instances where pets may need vaccinations include rabies, distemper, parvo, and feline leukemia.

2) Keep Up to Date
Your vet should be able to offer you advice about which vaccines your pet should have. That can include checking with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website regarding the most up-to-date required vaccines for your pet. Do this before visiting the vet!

3) Every Pet Has its Own Needs
This includes ensuring that the shots have been given correctly and that your pets’ immune system is in tip-top shape so they won’t need additional shots later on.

4) Check with Your State’s Veterinary Board
Veterinarians should perform all of the required vaccinations, but that doesn’t mean it’s up to them alone. The board can also be a good source for information on which vaccines your pet may need. That includes the state health departments and other veterinary boards’ websites.

5) Don’t Put It Off!
Many diseases can be spread through animal-to-animal contact and/or through mutations to live animals. These can result in an outbreak and could lead to death in your pet. Now is the time to act!

6) Avoid Unnecessary Shots
It may be tempting to keep your pet as healthy as possible, but that often means hurting its immune system by receiving unnecessary shots. That’s a far cry from what’s best for them, so if you’re looking for ways to avoid this, consider feline leukemia vaccinations, rabies vaccinations, and feline distemper (cat) vaccinations.

rabies vaccine ampule and thin empty syringe

7) Understand the Risks
There are many risks involved with vaccinations. Some include anaphylaxis, serious illness in your pet, or your pet self-administering vaccines (such as rabies). Know what to expect and you’ll be able to make better choices for your pet.

8) Respect Your Pet’s Limits
You may think that all your pet needs is a basic vaccination, but they may not be immune to every disease. If the risk is too high for your pet, discuss the pros and cons of vaccines with your vet.

9) Vaccines are Safe for Pets
Vet Techs are trained in administering vaccines safely to pets. No matter what kind of pet you have or their age, they can get a vaccination! In fact, each vaccine meets strict safety and efficacy standards.

10) Explore Alternative Solutions
If you’ve had negative experiences with vaccinations in the past, consider exploring holistic vaccinations for pets. They use natural ingredients to simulate an immune response in your pet that doesn’t include the risks associated with traditional vaccines. For more information on alternative vaccinations, consider calling your vet or the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association for help.

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association  logo
National Immunization Awareness Month – August I Love Veterinary - Blog for Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Students

As you can see, there are many reasons why owners need to consider immunizing their pets.

Check the vaccination schedule of your pet and make sure not to be behind any vaccination date!

National Immunization Awareness Month Facts (NIAM)

  1. NIAM was established in 2007 by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) to promote the importance of immunization and to encourage people to get vaccinated.
  2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners use NIAM to highlight the importance of immunization throughout the lifespan, from infants to the elderly.
  3. Vaccines have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to prevent infectious diseases and have played a critical role in reducing the burden of many infectious diseases.
  4. The CDC recommends that children receive vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and hepatitis A and B, among others.
  5. Adults should also receive vaccines, such as the flu vaccine, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, and the shingles vaccine, among others.
  6. Despite the proven effectiveness of vaccines, there is still a significant amount of vaccine hesitancy in the United States, which can lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
  7. NIAM provides an opportunity for healthcare providers, public health advocates, and the media to collaborate and promote the importance of immunization and to dispel myths and misinformation about vaccines.
  8. NIAM also serves as a reminder for individuals and families to check their vaccination status and to make sure that they are up-to-date on their vaccines.
  9. The theme for NIAM changes each year to focus on different aspects of immunization. For example, the theme for 2021 was “We’re All In This Together” and focused on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
  10. NIAM is an important public health initiative that helps to protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and promote the health and well-being of everyone.
little girl getting a band aid after receiving a vaccine

Observing National Immunization Awareness Month

Observing National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an opportunity for individuals, families, healthcare providers, and communities to raise awareness about the importance of immunization and promote vaccination. Here are some ways to observe NIAM:

  1. Make your own National Immunization Awareness Month flyer!
  2. Check your vaccination status: Make sure that you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines, including childhood vaccines, flu vaccine, and COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Share information about immunization: Share information about vaccine awareness with your friends and family, either through social media, email, or in-person conversations.
  4. Support vaccination efforts: Support vaccination efforts in your community, such as clinics, vaccination events, and education campaigns.
  5. Encourage others to get vaccinated: Encourage others to get vaccinated by talking to them about the benefits of immunization and addressing any concerns they may have.
  6. Participate in local events: Participate in local NIAM events, such as health fairs, educational sessions, and vaccination clinics.
  7. Use NIAM resources: Utilize NIAM resources, such as posters, social media graphics, and educational materials, to help promote immunization in your community.
  8. Share your story: Share your personal experience with immunization, such as how vaccines have protected you and your family from serious illnesses

Happy National Immunization Awareness Month!

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