Employee & Community Health

Vaccines: An integral part of your health care

7/25/2016 by Robert M. Jacobson, MD

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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, ranging from disfiguring scars to organ damage to birth defects to paralysis and even death. Among the diseases vaccines have made less devastating are: 

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Congenital Rubella Syndrome
  • Chicken pox
  • Shingles
  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenza, Type b
  • Polio
  • Pertussis
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Rotavirus
  • Invasive pneumococcal disease
  • Meningococcal septicemia ad meningitis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Cancers due to human papillomavirus infections
  • Influenza

August is National Immunization Month, and your Care Team reminds you that it's the perfect time to check your immunization status. Here's how you can find out if your vaccines are up to date: 

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. 

The list of recommended vaccines and the schedules for getting them can be complicated. Some call for a single dose, others need boosters. You need a flu vaccine every year, while others are good for life. Timing matters, too. So check the vaccine recommendations for you and your children at the links above. Mayo Clinic also uses computerized registries to document your vaccine history and generate alerts to you and your Care Team when vaccines are due. 

Dr. Robert M. Jacobson is a primary care pediatrician in Employee and Community Health's (ECH) Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (CPAM) and is the medical director of the ECH and Southeast Minnesota Region Immunization Program.