To recognize the importance of immunizations for people of all ages, the Broome County Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM).
Vaccines are the best protection against the diseases they prevent. They are safe and effective. The World Health Organization estimates that vaccines save approximately 2-3 million lives every year. Children can be protected against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases by the age of two and 16 diseases by the age of 18.
On-time vaccination is key to avoiding vaccine-preventable illnesses. Un- or under-vaccinated people are at increased risk for diseases and can spread them to others in their community- including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions. The illnesses that vaccines prevent are serious and can cause permanent disability or death.
“Broome County residents have the power to protect themselves and their families across the lifespan- through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy, and even into old age,” says Chelsea Reome-Nedlik, Public Health Educator at BCHD. “Talk to your healthcare provider to determine which vaccines are right for you.”
Vaccine costs may be covered by your insurance. If you do not have insurance or if you are unable to afford immunizations, you may qualify for assistance. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. The New York State Vaccines for Adults (VFA) program provides vaccines at no cost to eligible adults, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.
For more information, talk to your healthcare provider or call the Broome County Health Department at (607) 778-2839.