CHICAGO, IL | August 4, 2022
Recent studies show that routine vaccination rates in children have decreased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and only 45% of adults received their annual flu shot last year. During August for National Immunization Awareness Month, the American Lung Association is highlighting some important vaccinations that all Americans should consider.
As a preventive healthcare measure, vaccines work by teaching the body's immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses or bacteria before getting an infection and reduce the likelihood of getting severely ill from certain infectious diseases. Respiratory vaccine-preventable diseases are spread from person to person, which means that if one person in a community gets an infectious disease, they can spread it to others.
The Lung Association highlights four infectious respiratory diseases with lifesaving vaccines that all Americans should be aware of:
1. COVID-19: Everyone 6 months and older is now recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Four vaccines are currently available, and all recommended COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and reduce your risk of severe illness. You are considered up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all recommended COVID-19 doses you are eligible for, including the primary series, additional dose for immunocompromised and booster vaccines. Get science-based information about COVID-19 vaccines at Lung.org/Vaccine-Tracker.
2. Influenza (flu): Flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that typically peaks from December through March. Vaccination is the best way to help protect against flu and severe illness from the flu. The flu shot is recommended annually in September or October for everyone 6 months and older and should be a regular part of your healthcare routine. Learn more about the importance of flu shots at Lung.org/Flu.
3. Pneumococcal Pneumonia: Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia. It is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can disrupt your life for weeks. In severe cases, it can put you in the hospital and even be life-threatening. The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults 65 years and older, and adults aged 19-64 with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors, including chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, diabetes and smoking cigarettes. Learn more at Lung.org/Pneumococcal.
4. Pertussis (or Whooping Cough): Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection. It can cause serious respiratory illness in people of all ages but is most dangerous for babies. Adults living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are also at an increased risk of infection and complications. Vaccination for pertussis is recommended for persons of all ages in the United States. Learn more at Lung.org/Pertussis.
The CDC urges maintaining routine vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic to help protect against all infectious respiratory diseases.
For media seeking an interview with a lung health expert, contact Jill Dale at [email protected] or at 312-940-7001.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.