Employee & Community Health

Are your vaccines up to date? 

7/27/2015

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August is National Immunization Month, and your Care Team reminds you that it's the perfect time to check your status. Do you know if your vaccines are up to date? 

Here's how you can find out: 

If you see a problem, send a secure message to a member of your Care Team through Patient Online Services. Do you or your child need a vaccine? Set up a nurse visit by phone or Patient Online Services for yourself and your children. 

Vaccines represent one of the 20th century's top public health triumphs. Through vaccines, we have reduced the chance of getting many diseases and the harm they can cause. 

Vaccines have dramatically reduced the risk of measles and mumps. Because of vaccines, no one ever hears of children born with defects caused by German measles. Even chicken pox has become rare. And, we have a great vaccine to reduce the effects of shingles. 

Vaccines have made some everyday terrors disappear. Deaths of school children from diphtheria once were common. Every night, hospitals admitted infants to rule out Haemophilus influenzae type b. During the '50s, the fear of polio shut down swimming pools in the summer. Vaccines have reduced your family's chance of getting tetanus. The same goes for yellow jaundice from hepatitis A. 

Rotavirus diarrhea was once the most common cause of infant diarrhea, but no more. Thanks to flu vaccines, patients make fewer Emergency Department and urgent care visits, and they have reduced hospital stays and deaths - and not just among the very old. 

Pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines protect against serious diseases that can cripple or end lives prematurely. We now have two vaccines that prevent common adulthood cancers: the hepatitis B and HPV vaccines. 

The list of recommended vaccines and the schedules for getting them can be complicated. Some call for a single dose, both others need boosters. You need a flu vaccine every year, with others are good for life. Timing matters, too. So check the vaccine recommendations for you and your children at the links above. 

Mayo Clinic uses computerized registries that document when vaccines have been given. Its computers also create reminders for patients. In addition, they prompt members of your Care Team when you come to the clinic that vaccines are due. We continue to work on technology advances that will help keep you and your Care Team up to date on your vaccines .