August not only marks the beginning of school, but it is also recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month.

Whether children are home-schooled or attend public or private school, they are required to be up-to-date, based on age, for certain vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Immunizations help parents protect their children from serious and sometimes deadly diseases, such as measles. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

“Ensuring that children are current on all recommended vaccines is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health and that of their classmates,” said Martha Mustion, family nurse practitioner providing oversight of immunization services at Mosaic Specialty Care. “Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect the entire community by reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases.”

Most people today have never encountered measles, polio or diphtheria due to the effectiveness of vaccines. Public health experts and policy makers continue to work to preserve relatively high vaccine rates, so the incidence of other infectious diseases remains significantly reduced. However, misinformation about vaccines has resulted in several untrue statements which some individuals have taken as fact.

“One of the things I keep hearing is ‘my kids didn’t need this many vaccines’,” said Mustion. “This is true, 20 to 40 years ago there were fewer vaccines; however, our population was not as mobile as we are now. Families with children travel to and from other countries where diseases are more prevalent. Now, we spend more time in crowded public places with people who have traveled and may be carrying diseases that were once almost completely eradicated in this country.”

As a provider of the Vaccine for Children program, a service funded by the CDC, Mosaic Specialty Care offers immunizations free of charge to families of children who may not otherwise have access to vaccines.

The clinic also accepts most insurance plans.

To schedule an appointment, to speak to your child’s healthcare provider about vaccines or to get immunizations up-to-date for school, call Mosaic Specialty Care at 660.562.2525.

Parents can view schedules to stay on track with immunizations. Vaccine timetables for ages newborn through 18 can be found on the CDC Immunization Schedules webpage.