Don’t miss the bus this school year, get vaccinated!

August 5, 2022

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and the Oswego County Health Department noted that the annual celebration is a good reminder that people need immunizations throughout their lives. Vaccine-preventable diseases still exist, and vaccination remains the best protection against them. This month highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines and booster shots to maintain good health.

“We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of life, including your ability to attend important appointments and receive routine immunizations,” said Jodi Martin, director of preventive services for the Oswego County Health Department. “During National Immunization Awareness Month, we encourage you to speak with your doctor to ensure you and your family are protected from serious illnesses by learning about routine immunizations.”

As children return to school this fall, it’s especially important for parents to work with their child’s doctor or nurse to ensure they are up to date on missed visits to healthy children and recommended vaccines.

Many serious illnesses are no longer common in the United States thanks to vaccines, while others — like pertussis (whooping cough) and seasonal flu — continue to occur among people. Even recent measles outbreaks and a case of polio in upstate New York are a reminder of how quickly diseases can reappear and spread if people are not vaccinated. Some vaccine-preventable infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), can also lead to serious health problems later in life.

“This month we are asking you to make sure your children are up to date on their vaccines,” says Oswego County Supervising Public Health Nurse Jennifer Purtell. “Everyone – from infants to the elderly – needs vaccinations to stay healthy throughout their lives.”

Students of all ages prepare for school, which includes the necessary vaccinations.

“There are some important school grades that need to be planned for when immunizations may be due for children,” said Anna Reitz, immunization coordinator for the Oswego County Health Department. “That includes kindergarten and 6th grade for a Tdap vaccine. This protects them from tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Also, students must get their meningitis vaccine before 7th and 12th grade.”

To help children prepare for back-to-school vaccinations, the Oswego County Health Department offers a vaccination clinic every Tuesday. Appointments are required and residents can make an appointment at 315-349-3547 to come in.

Additionally, additional clinic times have been added to accommodate parents’ busy schedules. This includes evening appointments on Tuesday 23rd and 30th August and an additional morning clinic on Saturday 27th August. Again, call ahead to make an appointment.

The Health Department also offers consultation hours for COVID-19 vaccinations on the second Wednesday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Moderna and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available to people 18 years and older. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will be available to people 6 months and older. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are accepted.

For more information on public health clinics and immunizations, call 315-349-3547.

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