The Importance of Immunizations

January 15, 2012 by gfmhm
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One of the most important things you can do to protect your health is to receive recommended immunizations and flu shots-on time. Vaccines have been proven as one of the most effective tools to help people live longer and have healthier lives. They work by preventing infectious diseases, some of which have the potential to cause long-lasting or permanent health problems, or even death.

At Granite Falls Municipal Hospital, the staff is regularly vaccinated with the appropriate medicine, but there have been cases where patients were admitted and their disease could have been prevented (or the severity decreased) with a single shot.  Some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are rare because we have been vaccinating against them.

Vaccinate to protect yourself, children, grandchildren and their grandchildren. With one disease, smallpox, we “stopped the leak” in the boat by eradicating the disease. Children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to end the serious effects of certain diseases.  A single sick child brought into a community can trigger a widespread outbreak. The 2009 H1N1 outbreak in Minnesota brings this issue home.

U.S. Flu Facts

*An estimated 10-20% of the population contracts the flu each year.

*Approximately 36,000 annual deaths in the U.S. are attributed to influenza complications.

*The highest rates of complications, hospitalizations and deaths occur primarily in patients older than 65.

*Increased rates of complications, hospitalizations and deaths also are observed in young children.

Sources of immunization information include:

The National Immunization Program (NIP)

The National Network for Immunization Information (NNii)

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)

The American Academy of Pediatrics

The CDC Contact Center at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) English and Español
Questions about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases frequently asked by people calling the TTY Service Hotline at 1-888-232-6348.

Make sure your vaccinations are up to date and you have had this year’s flu shot.  It may save your life.

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