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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

As U.S. Marks National Immunization Awareness Month, Should Shots Be Part Of The Basic Citizen Preparedness Steps?

August 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary reminded me that August is National Immunization Month (NIAM whose goal is:

to increase awareness about immunizations across the life span, from infants to the elderly.

August is the perfect time to remind family, friends, co-workers, and those in the community to catch up on their vaccinations. Parents are enrolling their children in school, students are entering college, and healthcare workers are preparing for the upcoming flu season.

Last week, I wrote about the Get Ready preparedness campaign of the American Public Health Association (APHA), which calls for immunization as part of the basic emergency readiness steps. Though immunization is not presented as part of the Department of Homeland Security/Ready.Gov emergency preparedness recommendations (last year with the threat of the H1N1 flu was an exception), including those shots as part of the overall message does make some sense, because it is a more familiar public health action.

It might be a good way to introduce citizens to the emergency preparedness in a less threatening way. Conveniently both National Immunization Awareness Month and National Preparedness Month occur sequentially around the beginning of the school year. (And, the Red Cross suggests that when parents buy back-to-school supplies, they consider adding an emergency preparedness kit to the shopping list.)

Of course, an argument can also be made that adding another step might dilute the Preparedness Month message, particularly if terrorism awareness is also potentially added as was discussed in a recent blog post.

Are You Up-to-Date? Vaccinate! August is National Immunization Awareness Month

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Tags: Preparedness Ideas · Public Opinion · Red Cross

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