August is National Immunization Awareness Month

CHARLESTON — Vaccines help prevent dangerous and sometimes deadly diseases.

This August, National Immunization Awareness Month, is the perfect time to remind family and friends to get caught up on their shots.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands of adults in the United States die each year from diseases that they could have been vaccinated against. Many adults remain unvaccinated because they are unaware or misinformed about the need for vaccines beyond childhood.

Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network is the QIN-QIO for New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Louisiana. In this role, Quality Insights works with healthcare providers, community partners and patients to increase the number of adults who get recommended vaccinations such as those for flu and pneumonia.

“As we age, our immune systems weaken. This puts us at a higher risk of infectious diseases,” says Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network Director Rebecca Cochran, MSN, RN, CPHQ.

“Vaccines can help boost our immune system, decreasing our risk of getting vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Cochran notes that immunizations are especially important if you have diabetes.

“If you have diabetes and get the flu, your blood glucoses rise and your recovery time is generally longer.”

Also, people with diabetes are about three times more likely to die from flu and pneumonia than the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in the family gets the shots they need.

Additionally, Quality Insights offers free immunization and diabetes information. Visit QualityInsights-qin.organd click on “For Patients.” Then select immunizations or diabetes care resources.