By Rachel Bocchino

This is part 4 of a 5 part series this week (July 29-August 2).

picVaccines have been successfully preventing dangerous diseases and saving lives for centuries.  Today is the official start of National Immunization Awareness Month.  We hope to use this time to stress how crucial of a role vaccines play in keeping us safe – regardless of how old we are.  Celebrate this month by ensuring that your vaccinations are up to date and check out the next myth below.

Myth 4: Because the serious infections have largely disappeared or can be treated with antibiotics, there is no need for vaccines anymore.

The fortunate fact that some diseases are not seen in America very often anymore is due to the success of vaccinations.  However, many of these infections are still common in other parts of the world.  If we begin to lessen our defenses against these diseases they will quickly spread throughout the population again.  Travelers from other countries may not be vaccinated and therefore could be carrying dangerous infections.  Although many diseases seem out of sight, they must not become out of mind.  It is important that we follow the recommended vaccination schedule so that these diseases remain infrequent and we remain healthy.

Check back tomorrow to find out the truth behind another immunization myth.

Call your primary care physician to get you or your child vaccinated! If you don’t have a doctor, call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050.

Vaccination Schedules from the Centers for Disease Control:

Recommended vaccination schedule for ages 0-6 years

Recommended vaccination schedule for ages 7-18 years

Recommended vaccination schedule for adults

For more information on vaccination, check out Immunization Basics from the CDC or call the Boston Public Heath Commission at (617) 534-5611.

Rachel Bocchino is the IDB Social Media Outreach Intern for STI Education.  She attends the College of the Holy Cross, is a Classics Major/Chemistry Minor and in the Pre-Health Program.  She will graduate in 2014.