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08/01/2017 15:02 EDT
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up-to-date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases. Protect yourself and your loved ones by making sure that you are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

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05/18/2017 14:58 EDT
CDC recommends most adults born after 1956 get at least one dose of measles vaccine unless they can show they have been vaccinated or have had measles. Sometimes prior to international travel, certain shots are required or recommended. Because some shots require more than one dose for full protection, start planning for travel immunizations four to six weeks before you are due to leave.
05/02/2017 14:34 EDT
Rhode Island's 2017 CDC Childhood Immunization Champion is Siavash Ghoreishi, MD. Dr. Ghoreishi is a pediatrician in East Greenwich who works hard each day to ensure all his patients are fully vaccinated, on time. Dr. Ghoreishi grew up in Iran, where he saw firsthand children with polio and the hardships they endured from this disease. He knows the life-saving power of vaccines, and will tell a vaccine-hesitant parent: "You would not drive without putting your child in a car seat; why would you not vaccinate your child?" Thank you Dr. Ghoreishi, for all you do to keep Rhode Island's babies and children safe and healthy.
04/12/2017 10:22 EDT
HPV (human papillomavirus) continues to be the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. A report released last week by CDC shows that in 2013-2014 (study period), 45.2% of men and 39.9% of women had some form of genital HPV. About 1 in 5 had high-risk genital HPV, which increases the likelihood of developing cancer. Oral HPV: Oral HPV prevalence was 11.5% among men and 3.3% among women. Approximately 4% of adults had high-risk strains of oral HPV that indicate increased cancer risk. CDC recommends that all boys and girls be routinely vaccinated for HPV starting at age 11 or 12 to prevent cancer.
02/21/2017 16:37 EST
Although flu season started several months ago, health officials expect flu activity to remain high for at least a few more weeks, according to a new CDC report. Specifically, the report stated that from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, the percentage of patients visiting the doctor for flu-like symptoms was 4.8 percent, which is well above the "national baseline" for flu visits — the threshold for what's typically seen in the off-season — which is 2.2 percent. If you have not gotten vaccinated, it is not too late. People who got a flu shot this year were about 50 percent less likely to visit the doctor for flu, compared to people who weren't vaccinated, according to a separate report from CDC. Data from previous flu seasons show that, in general, flu vaccines reduce the risk of visiting the doctor for flu by about 50 to 60 percent.

Immunization

Vaccines are the best way to prevent serious illness and death from many infectious diseases. Vaccines protect people by preparing their immune systems to recognize and fight these diseases. Vaccines also protect communities by reducing the spread of illness.

The Food and Drug Administration adheres to rigorous testing standards before licensing vaccines to ensure their safety. Leaders in the fields of medicine and public health recommend vaccines for children, adolescents, and adults to prevent disease.

What you should do

Parents

Make sure that your children are up-to-date on all recommended vaccinations infants and children preteens and teens. Ask your children’s pediatricians about vaccinations at each visit.

Children without doctors who are uninsured can be vaccinated at St. Joseph Center for Health and Human Services. Older children can also be immunized through Vaccinate Before You Graduate, a catch-up program run at Rhode Island high schools.

Adults

The immunizations needed by adults are determined by several factors. These include age, lifestyle, how healthy the adult is, and the adult’s immunization history. Talk to your healthcare providers or review the adult schedule of recommended immunizations to know what immunizations you need.

Travelers

If you are planning to travel outside of the United States can receive recommended vaccines at travel clinics.

People who will be in contact with infants

Adults and adolescents who will be around infants should be vaccinated with a single dose of Tdap. This could include parents, siblings, grandparents, babysitters, and other child care providers. Tdap protects against, among other diseases, pertussis. Infants are too young to be fully immunized against pertussis, but an infant's exposure to the illness can be reduced if he or she only comes into contact with people who are vaccinated. This practice is called cocooning.

What we are doing

Rhode Island provides healthcare providers with all of the vaccines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that children receive through 18 years of age. Rhode Island also providers healthcare providers with all recommended vaccines for adults. Although some healthcare providers may charge patients small fees for the administration of vaccine, Rhode Island gives these vaccines to healthcare providers free of charge.

Additionally, the Rhode Island Department of Health works with mass vaccinators, schools, healthcare providers, and many others to make vaccine available at community clinics.

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