MADISON, NJ - The Madison Health Department reminds residents that August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) which highlights the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.  In raising awareness about the vital role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly diseases it is important for families, healthcare professionals and public health officials to work together to help protect the entire community.  Immunization is a shared responsibility.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. In the United States, vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children and adults.  Viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist and are common in many parts of the world. These diseases can be passed on to people who are not protected by vaccines which is why vaccination is so important. It not only protects the person receiving the vaccines, but also helps prevent the spread of certain diseases especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants and children, elderly and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.  Even if you are healthy, vaccines are still recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations, medical conditions and vaccines received in the past.

Talk to your health care professional or stop in at the Madison Health Department to make sure your family is up to date on all the recommended vaccines. Vaccines are available for those without insurance or adults whose insurance does not cover particular vaccines.  For more information about immunizations, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines or call the Madison Health Department at 973 593-3079.