August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). Immunizations represent one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The purpose of NIAM is to celebrate the benefits of vaccination and highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

Richland Public Health’s Clinic is open to do immunizations for newborns and children, back-to-school shots, necessary college vaccinations, travel immunizations, and adult vaccines, including the shingles vaccine.

Walk-ins are welcome but during this busy time of the year appointments will cut down on your wait time. Call 419-774-4700 for an appointment time convenient for you.

The Clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 am to 4:30 pm and Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Extended hours on Thursday are from 9:30 am to 6 pm.

Babies & Young Children
Vaccines give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from serious diseases. Parents can provide the best protection by following the recommended immunization schedule – giving their child the vaccines they need, when they need them.

Babies receive vaccinations that help protect them from 14 diseases by age 2. It is very important that babies receive all doses of each vaccine and receive each vaccination on time. After age 2, children are still recommended to receive a yearly flu vaccine. Children are also due for additional doses of some vaccines between 4 and 6 years of age. Following the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health. If a child falls behind the recommended immunizations schedule, vaccines can still be given to “catch-up” the child before adolescence.

Child care facilities, preschool programs, and schools are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms, and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

School-Age Children
Getting vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things a parent can do to protect their child’s health. Diseases can quickly spread among groups of children who aren’t vaccinated. Whether it’s a baby starting at a new child care facility, a toddler heading to preschool, a student going back to elementary, middle or high school – or even a college freshman – parents should check their child’s vaccination records.

Child care facilities, preschool programs, schools and colleges are prone to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can spread disease to others in their play groups, child care centers, classrooms and communities – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Additionally, states may require children who are entering child care or school to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Colleges and universities may have their own requirements, especially for students living in residence halls. Parents should check with their child’s doctor, school or the local health department to learn about the requirements in their state or county.

Preteens & Teens
Parents can do a number of things to ensure a healthy future for their child. One of the most important actions parents can take is to make sure their children are up to date on their vaccines.

Preteens and teens need four vaccines to protect against serious diseases:

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis and blood infections (septicemia).
  • HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
  • Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (pertussis).
  • A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.

Teens and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school and high school – and also off to college – protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by following the recommended immunization schedule.

Pregnant Women
Vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Women should be up to date on their vaccinations before becoming pregnant. They should receive vaccines against both flu and whooping cough (pertussis) during pregnancy. These vaccines protect the mother and her baby by preventing illnesses and complications. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy also allows the mother to pass some protection on to her baby. Some women may need to receive vaccines after giving birth.

Women who are planning to have a child may need to receive vaccines before their pregnancy. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is one example. Women who have not received the full series of the MMR vaccine should get it at least 4 weeks before their pregnancy begins. This is important to avoid some diseases that can lead to significant pregnancy complications, including birth defects. Rubella, for example, can cause serious problems during pregnancy. That’s why women need to have immunity before becoming pregnant.

Pregnant women should get flu and whooping cough vaccines during their pregnancy (if they have not already received the vaccine during the current flu season). Pregnant women are at increased risk for serious complications from the flu. When a pregnant woman gets a flu shot, she is protecting herself from getting sick with flu. Though not specifically examined among pregnant women, there are some studies that suggest that flu vaccination can make illness milder among people who do still get sick. Another benefit of getting a flu shot during pregnancy is that antibodies are passed on to baby. Children younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu vaccine, but they are at high risk of being hospitalized from flu. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy can provide baby with flu protection that can last several months. Pregnant women should also receive a whooping cough shot. Whooping cough can be serious for anyone, but for a newborn it can be life threatening. Studies show that getting the whooping cough vaccine while pregnant helps protect the baby from getting this disease. If the baby does still get sick, he is less likely to develop severe complications if his mom was vaccinated. Both flu and whooping cough vaccines can give the baby early protection against disease. For that to happen, pregnant women must receive those vaccines during their pregnancy.

In some cases, women may also need vaccinations after giving birth. Pregnancy is also a good time for mothers to start learning about vaccines for children. They’ll want to know about all the vaccines that protect babies after they’re born.

Adults
All adults should get vaccines to protect their health. Even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others. Everyone should have their vaccination needs assessed at their doctor’s office, pharmacy, or other visits with health care providers. Certain vaccines are recommended based on a person’s age, occupation, or health conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes or heart disease).

Vaccination is important because it protects the person receiving the vaccine and helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those who are most vulnerable to serious complications (such as infants and young children, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems).

All adults, including pregnant women, should get the influenza (flu) vaccine each year to protect against seasonal flu. Every adult should have one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis or whooping cough) if they did not get Tdap as a teen, and then get the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine every 10 years. Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks.

Adults 60 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. And adults 65 and older are recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain high-risk conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations.

Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV) depending on their age, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received, or other considerations.