August 2018 Immunization Awareness Month

In this month, the community has an annual recognition of the importance of vaccination and what perfect timing because IT'S BACK TO SCHOOL! Well, not for me but for millions of other students across our country. Now more than ever, it is an important time for students to get vaccinated primarily because when we're in school, we're in close contact with many people.  Students are sneezing, coughing, sharing drinks and so much more when it comes to sharing germs.  Honestly, every year when I would get to my desk, I would look at it and say to myself, "This is the place where I'll learn, take tests, struggle, and even be sick." Getting sick is inevitable but it's our duty to take care of ourselves. We do this by taking medicine when we do feel down, but as a better step to prevent certain sicknesses from happening, we get shots from our doctors!  I know, Ouch! But for a small moment, we experience a pinch and in that pinch is all of this medicine to make our bodies stronger and helps protect us from potentially dangerous outside pathogens seeping into our bloodstream.  By getting these shots, we are making our bodies become into shields that help protect against bad bacteria.  When we do this, we are able to stay in school without worry of being sick from preventable diseases.  It's also important to be vaccinated because when we protect our bodies, we are protecting the people around us.  If we're not shielded/vaccinated, our bodies can become homes to certain disease and then we can pass it to others. And that's a responsibility that no one wants.  I encourage everyone to be protected, so please seek out to your primary care health physician and ask if you're up to date on your mandatory vaccinations and seek out protection for vaccines that are also recommended.  To get all of your shots at once is completely safe.  For me, I'd like to get them all done at once so I don't have to come back to do the rest.  

If I got my shots prior to arriving to my school's campus back in 2008, I would of more than likely not have gotten meningitis.  Please protect yourselves, and your kiddos by getting vaccinated. Even teachers! Principals! Doctors! Nurses!  All of these occupations where you see tons of children that may be sick, I encourage you to also get vaccinated.  We need to protect ourselves from harmful disease, and by doing so we become a stronger and healthier community.  Think, 'Immunity!' 

One of my oldest family friends has CF - cystic fibrosis.  It's a genetic disease that causes lung infections, limiting breathing, and eventually leads to respiratory failure.  On her 11th hour, she found an organ donor which saved her life.  However, she still has CF in her body but with her new lungs, she is able to do so much more, like playing with her son.  With this being said, she is immune compromised, meaning she can't receive certain vaccines due to her immunity and without certain shots, she's at risk of catching other diseases.  She's a scenario where she can't receive vaccines even if she wanted to.  Being in this situation, everyone around her needs to be vaccinated otherwise there's a dangerous chance she can loose a battle to certain diseases.  So if her young son brings a friend over, that's not vaccinated, is a carrier of a disease, passes it to my friend who is immune compromised, she could possibly loose her life if she caught a disease.  When I say vaccination is a community effort, I mean by getting vaccinated not only are we protecting ourselves, we are also protecting the people around us who can't protect themselves.  Please get vaccinated to help protect people who can't protect themselves, just like my friend with CF.

Thank you, Jamie.