The importance of vaccines and immunizations

By: Cindy Carroll and Suzi Taylor, Parish Nurses


August is National Immunization Awareness Month. To observe this, we want to take this time to promote vaccines and to remind everyone to stay up- to- date on their immunizations. We all need vaccinations or immunizations to help protect us from serious, and sometimes deadly, diseases. Immunizations can prevent diseases such as the flu, measles and pneumonia. It is important to know which ones you need and when to get them.  


Even if you received all your immunizations as a child, you still need them as an adult because the protection from some immunizations can wear off over time. Also, as you get older, you may be at risk for other illnesses, such as shingles.  


Immunizations not only protect you, but they also protect the people around you. Some members of your family or community may not be able to get certain vaccines due to their age or a health condition. This is especially important if you spend time around anyone with a long-term health problem or a weak immune system. Take the time to talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about getting up-to-date on your vaccines.


The Basics

  • Get a seasonal flu vaccine every year. Everyone 6 months and older needs one.
  • Get a Tdap shot to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Everyone needs to get the Tdap once, and pregnant women need a dose during their pregnancy.
  • After you get a Tdap shot, you need to get a Td shot every 10 years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria.
  • If you are 60 or older, you need shots to protect against pneumonia and shingles.
  • Keep a copy of your vaccination record in a safe place.  


If you have any questions about immunizations and vaccines please contact us at parishrn@stjohnslc.org. If you want more information on immunization schedules go to www.cdc.gov/vaccines.