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August is National Immunization Month

As the summer winds down and school starts back up, now is a good time to mention that August is National Immunization Month. Did you know that almost 50% of children under age two have not received all the recommended vaccines? One in eight of these children are undervaccinated due the parents’ decision to either delay or refuse vaccinations.

The choice to forego a vaccine is not just a personal issue; it is also a public health issue. As more people choose not to vaccinate, the risk for the disease prevented by the vaccine increases. We are seeing this happen in communities throughout the United States as reports of measles, mumps, chickenpox, and pertussis outbreaks have recently made headlines.

To find out some answers to common questions about vaccines, and to learn why delaying or foregoing vaccines is not safer and provides no benefit to children, check out a recent editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer. To find out more about why vaccine hesitancy is on the rise, look for this upcoming special focus journal issue.