As the holiday season rapidly approaches, the Board of Directors of the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies would like to remind everyone of the greatest gift you can provide for your family members: the gift of vaccination. As Pennsylvania families move forward through the first “normal” fall and winter season in a few years, it’s worth remembering how important protection from vaccine preventable diseases is for everyone. Most of us are too young to remember the horrible toll that illnesses like Polio,Measles,Tetanus and others routinely used to take on infants, children and even adults. Through extraordinary medical advances in vaccine technology, many deadly diseases have become non-existent in the United States. Without constant vigilance, that could certainly change. Misinformation about the dangers of vaccines seems to spread like wildfire and it causes some people to avoid vaccination for themselves and their loved ones, putting the ones they care about the most at risk.
We strongly urge all our patients and their families to be sure they are up to date on their “routine” vaccines and to get protected as soon as they can against influenza and the newest Covid 19 strains.
With an increasing number of patients using “home tests” to diagnose COVID, there is likely an underreporting of new cases currently circulating in the community. Evidence shows that vaccinated individuals who contract COVID have significantly less risk for hospitalization and death than those unvaccinated.
This holiday season the medical community is also concerned about the risk of “co-infection,” where an individual gets ill with flu (influenza) and COVID-19 at the same time. This is a very real risk, as both viruses are already circulating in Northeastern, PA.
Here are some other key reminders when thinking about vaccines:
Children in PA are falling behind in routine vaccinations since the start of the pandemic - call your pediatrician or family physician today to schedule a wellness visit and discuss any missing vaccines!
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a FLU SHOT!
It is never too late to start vaccinating your children!
Children 6 months through 8 years of age getting a flu vaccine for the first time, and those who have only previously gotten one dose of flu vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine. (CDC.gov)
Patients with egg allergies can still get various flu vaccines on the market
The COVID-19 vaccine is also approved for children as young as 6 months of age. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible. (CDC.gov)
Keep an open dialogue with your healthcare providers. Your primary care physician/pediatricians are ready to answer your questions and concerns regarding vaccine safety!
Lackawanna and Luzerne County Medical Societies’ Board