FEDERALSBURG — Choptank Community Health System is recognizing National Immunization Awareness Month this August by urging parents to keep their children current on all vaccinations before the start of the school year.

“Immunizations are critical to the health and well-being of our children by preventing diseases that cause harm,” said Choptank Community Health System Chief Medical Officer Patricia Karnes. “As a provider, I understand how parents can be hesitant about immunization with the information found in the news or online.”

“If you’ve been on the fence about vaccinating your children, or you’re preparing your students for school, now is a great time to talk to your provider. We can confidently answer your questions and share what the data shows to make confident recommendations for your child,” Karne said.

“Each child and teenager needs an annual well-visit to go over immunizations and more,” she said. “Now is a great time to make sure updating vaccinations are on your back-to-school list.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices publishes immunization schedules with requirements specified by grade level at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/parents-adults/resources-parents.html.

It shows vaccines recommended for children and adolescents based on age, health conditions and other factors.

The CDC states that on-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are tested to ensure they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.

Some vaccine-preventable diseases like chickenpox and whooping cough remain common in the United States.

The CDC reports seeing between 10,000 and 50,000 whooping cough cases in the United States each year, for example, since 2010. Whooping cough can cause serious complications, like pneumonia and rib fractures, for children and teenagers. Coughing fits can last for 10 weeks or more.

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