World Immunization Week runs from April 24th to April 30th and is a global effort sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO). The main goal is to increase engagement in the importance of vaccinations to improve the health of all people worldwide, throughout life. World Immunization Week 2020 focuses on:
- Demonstrating the value of vaccines to improve the health of children and communities worldwide
- Showing how routine immunizations are the necessary foundation for universal health coverage and resilient health systems
- Highlighting the dire need to address immunization gaps and build on immunization progress through increased investment in vaccines
World Health Day: Celebrate Nurses and Midwives
On April 7, 2020, WHO celebrated World Health Day by honoring nurses and midwives and reminding world leaders of their critical role. Without nurses and healthcare workers, there would be no pandemic response. Strengthening the nursing and healthcare profession is critical to achieve national and global health targets in all health areas including:
- Infectious and non-communicable disease
- Emergency preparedness
- Child and maternal health
- Patient safety
- Mental health
- Delivery of integrated patient centered care
Nurses and midwives are often the first to speak to new parents about the importance of immunizations, playing a vital role in giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice. Nurses and midwifes play a critical role as vaccine champions to new parents and children everywhere.
National Immunization and Infectious Disease Efforts
Healthy People 2020 is a national effort to reduce, eliminate or maintain elimination of diseases preventable with a vaccine. Objectives include raising awareness to disease prevention and treatment which are essential to reduce infectious disease transmission. A focus on technological advancements is necessary to ensure that all States, local and nongovernmental organizations partner to control the spread of infectious diseases.
Vaccines for All Ages
Vaccines are important for people of all ages. Many people in the United States continue to get diseases which are completely preventable with vaccines. Viral hepatitis, tuberculosis (TB) and influenza are among the leading causes of illness and death in the United States. Check the vaccination schedules recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services, office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:
- Children’s shots – all children should have immunizations against dangerous and deadly diseases including measles, pertussis (whooping cough), chickenpox, Hepatitis A and B by the age of 2.
- Pre-Teen – all pre-teens should have the Tdap booster shot, the Meningococcal shot to protect against meningitis and all types of meningococcal disease. Meningitis is a very serious infection of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord. Additional vaccines include the HPV vaccine and annual flu shots.
- Adults ages 19 to 49 – includes the flu vaccine, Tdap to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Everyone needs one Tdap and a Td shot every 10 years to protect against tetanus and diphtheria, pregnant women need a dose during every pregnancy.
- Adults age 50 or older – includes the shingles vaccine, flu vaccine and a shot to prevent pneumococcal disease which can include pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infections.
- Hepatitis B – hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine and is recommend for all babies at birth, anyone under the age of 19 who did not receive the vaccine as a baby and adults at risk for Hepatitis B infection.
- Seasonal Flu – the seasonal flu can be a mild illness for many or very serious and deadly for others. The flu is also linked to serious infections like pneumonia and can make existing health problems like heart and lung disease worse. Everyone age 6 months and older should have a flu vaccine each year as the best way to protect against influenza.
The recommendations for immunizations in the United States currently target 17 vaccine preventable diseases across one’s lifespan. The proper use of vaccinations combined with antibiotics, screening and testing guidelines and scientific improvements in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases are all important in the fight against infectious disease.
The Importance of Immunizations
Life expectancy significantly increased during the 20th century, due in large part to improvements in child survival. This is directly related to a reduction in infectious disease mortality from immunizations. Infectious disease, however, continues to be a major cause of disability, illness or death in the U.S. Let’s all work together to follow immunization recommendations and prevent the spread of preventable, infectious disease.
Greater Waterbury Imaging Center cares about your health and wellness and urges you to maintain all vaccinations as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Eliminating and maintaining an elimination of preventable infectious diseases is critical to nationwide and global health. Remember to contact GWIC for all your MR imaging needs.