This Father’s Day, take a minute to ponder how important you are to your family. One day you’re preventing little ones from bumping into sharp edges and then next thing you know, you’re teaching your teen how drive safely. We childproof our houses, install car seats that would rival Formula One roll cages, and buy the safest (and slowest) cars for our teens. We do all of this to help keep them safe. Vaccination is one of the easiest ways to keep them safe when they are young and sometimes, for life…
Vaccination plays an important role in protecting the health of mother and baby. It is one of our best options in reducing their chances of morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Similar to eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting regular check-ups, vaccines are vital in order to stay healthy, particularly for older adults. As you age, your immune system typically does not function as well as it used to, making older adults more susceptible to vaccine-preventable infectious diseases and serious complications.
From the moment you found out you were pregnant, you began protecting your baby. You may have changed the way you eat, started taking a prenatal vitamin, and started to research which car seat you’ll buy. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children against pertussis (whooping cough) and influenza (flu) is to make sure you get the Tdap and flu vaccines while you are pregnant?
Vaccines are recommended for women before, during and after pregnancy. Some vaccines, such as the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, should be given a month or more before pregnancy. Other vaccines, like Tdap (to protect against whooping cough) and influenza, are given during pregnancy.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) encourages you to use American Health Month to promote heart healthy behaviors and remind patients with heart disease about the importance of staying up-to-date with recommended vaccines – especially flu and pneumococcal vaccines – due to their increased risk of becoming ill with serious complications.
A special thank you to Laura E. Riley, MD, Director, Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, for this interview on the importance of vaccinating pregnant women against influenza, tetanus, and pertussis. For additional tips and strategies on maternal immunization, register to attend the NFID Fall 2014 […]