The rapid onset of COVID19 has been a stark reminder of the real value and need for vaccines. Because vaccines have proven to be so effective in eradicating and minimizing diseases around the globe, many people have forgotten why we need them in the first place.
Sadly, we are now confronting an example in the devastating coronavirus. Without a vaccine for the virus, millions of people will become infected, and hundreds of thousands will die.
Thankfully, we have vaccines for several other diseases that, when administered, keep our communities healthy.
The CDC recommends the “4:3:1:3:3:1:4” immunization series (4 doses of DTaP, 3 doses of IPV, 1 dose of MMR, 3 doses of Hib, 3 doses of Hep B, 1 dose of varicella and 4 doses of PCV) for children ages 19-35 months. According to the Indiana State Department of Health in 2019, the average immunization rate in Indiana for that series was 70%.
Because many people are unable to be vaccinated for various reasons, a high percentage of the population must be vaccinated to ensure community immunity. We must continue to advocate for high immunization rates to protect our families and the health of our communities.
There are many different ways to advocate; you can speak to your church leaders or PTO, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, share accurate information about vaccines on social media, or make an appointment to meet with State Legislators. You can even take a vaccine-hesitant friend out for a cup of coffee.
While we cannot vaccinate against the coronavirus (yet), we can vaccinate against chickenpox, diphtheria, the flu, hepatitis, hib disease, HPV, measles, meningitis, mumps, pneumonia, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, and whooping cough.
If you’d like to partner with Hoosiers Advocate to help improve Indiana immunization rates, contact us today!