MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – The month of August is National Immunization Awareness Month. It’s an annual observance to show the importance of vaccinations, no matter the age.
We spoke with a local pediatrician as well as the Mahoning County Public Health Department on why it’s important to stay up to date with your immunizations.
“As a parent, you want to make sure your children are protected. As a pediatrician and a person of science, I believe the vaccination… they work,” said Dr. John Cox, with Wee Ones Pediatrics.
Dr. Cox stressed the importance of vaccinating your children. According to him, most vaccinations are given within the first year of life.
“Well, there is an entire vaccination schedule that is set up by the American Academy of Pediatrics and they start off fairly young. Right in the newborn nursery, they’re already getting their first hepatitis B. Then two months, four months, six months, there’s a schedule that is already mapped out,” Dr. Cox said.
According to Dr. Cox, the typical vaccines that are given at a young age are for hepatitis B, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, just to name a few. He said that these vaccines have changed the way we live.
“A lot of diseases that used to kill kids back in the day or cause some serious illnesses, we don’t have to worry about these things anymore because of these vaccinations,” Dr. Cox said.
The public health department says that immunizations are important at every age, including adults.
“Sometimes over the years, if you received your immunizations when you were a child or adolescent, sometimes the immunity starts to weigh in as you get older,” said nursing director Erica Horner.
Horner has noticed a decline in vaccines since the start of the pandemic.
“There has been a decline since the pandemic started. There has been a decline across the country in regards to both childhood and adolescent immunizations and also the recommended adult immunizations,” Horner said.
The public health department offers weekly immunization clinics with an array of vaccines. Visit their website for a calendar of events.