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Vaccination is a Family Affair

July 31st, 2014

AHealthyStart

 

 

 

 

 

by Marla Dalton, CAE
Executive Director
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

 

Whether you are just starting a family or already caring for one, it’s important to keep vaccines in mind to protect yourself and your loved ones. Like eating right, exercising, and getting regular checkups, vaccines also play a vital role in keeping you and your family healthy.

Vaccines are the best way to protect against many diseases across the lifespan and pregnancy is no exception. Vaccines have saved millions of lives; however, in recent years, vaccination rates have decreased and many vaccine-preventable diseases are now making a comeback–highlighting the importance of being fully immunized at every stage of life.

During pregnancy, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and influenza vaccines are strongly recommended to provide protection for both mother and child, as a two-for-one approach. These vaccines are safe for both you and your baby and provide protection for your newborn until he or she is old enough to be vaccinated.08.01.14_Vaccination is a Family Affair_Image 2

Vaccinating your infant as recommended will help them build their own protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. Since babies under six months of age are too young to have received all vaccines necessary to protect them, it is important to build a ‘cocoon’ around them by ensuring that family and friends in close contact are up-to-date on their own vaccines.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has developed an online Family Vaccines Resource Center, as a collection of resources to help inform expecting or new mothers/parents about the benefits of vaccination for the whole family, at all stages of life. The resource center provides tools and resources compiled from trusted sources to answer your questions about vaccines and help you prepare for visits with your healthcare provider.

Vaccines are a vital part of a healthy life, from pregnancy, through childhood and adolescence, into adulthood. It’s never too early to start…don’t hesitate, vaccinate!

2 Responses to “Vaccination is a Family Affair

  1. Vax Maine Kids says:

    So supportive of this initiative to get pregnant mothers and their families vaccinated before the baby arrives. It’s great that research has shown that babies can benefit from their mother’s vaccination practices before being born. Just one more thing mothers can do to help their kids grow up happy and healthy!

    Vax Maine Kids supports your efforts. Check out our series of “I’m Pregnant: Should I get…”, including our post on Tdap and pregnancy: http://www.vaxmainekids.org/im-pregnant-should-i-get-the-tdap-vaccine/

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