By Rachel Bocchino

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

Vaccines have been successfully preventing dangerous diseases and saving lives for centuries.  In celebration of back-to-school and National Immunization Awareness Month, each day this week we have discredited a different myth about vaccination.  Check out the last myth and the recommended vaccination schedule below.

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Myth 5: It is better to build up natural immunity.

This myth is often associated with chickenpox.  Many people believe that allowing their child to be naturally infected with the disease is safer than receiving the vaccine.  However, the consequences of natural infection are far too risky. These diseases may bring with them severe complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Whether it be driving a car or swimming in the ocean, we put ourselves and our loved ones at risk every day.  Though there are mild risks involved with vaccination, they are heavily outweighed by the rewards.  The greater danger lies in not getting immunized – and that’s a fact!

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.

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