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Local health departments urge vaccines to protect against serious diseases

Posted 18 August 2019 at 9:14 am

Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments

August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month. Today’s vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox. Because of advances in medical science, your children and family can be protected against more diseases than ever before

Paul Pettit, Public Health Director of Genesee and Orleans Counties has continually supported vaccination and vaccine education in our communities and believes vaccines are the best defense against preventable diseases.

“Vaccination is safe and effective,” Pettit said. “All vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the federal government to make sure they are safe.”

Immunizations are important for a variety of reasons. When you get vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but you also help protect the people around you who might be too young or too sick to get vaccinated themselves. This is called “community immunity” or “herd immunity.” If enough people stop getting vaccinated, more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, will occur.

On June 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children. Public Health Law §2164(1)(a) defines “school” to include any public, private or parochial child caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate or secondary school.

This means that if your child does not have a medical exemption, your child must receive vaccines in order to attend school. This new law will help protect against vaccine-preventable diseases within our communities.

From infants to senior citizens, getting vaccines on time is one of the important ways to protect yourself and your family from serious diseases and infections. The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments encourage you to talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure that you and your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.

We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life. Adults can use the CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.

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