It seems like every month has its own thing nowadays. From International Friendship Month to National Yoga Awareness Month, every month has its own cause. However, there’s one national awareness month that we here at Albemarle Square Family Health Center, the providers of the best family medicine in Charlottesville, take very seriously. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, which raises awareness for the benefits of getting immunizations for people of all ages. In today’s blog, we’ll go over the importance of immunizations and why you should get all of your immunizations as early as possible.

A Brief History of Vaccinesperson holding round clear container

While most people living today have had to at least heard of vaccines in some way, they weren’t always as common as they are in today’s world. Ancient civilizations had their own ways of inoculating citizens with all-natural remedies. However, these methods didn’t always work or they weren’t performed correctly, allowing the disease to spread further. The very first “modern vaccine” was invented in 1796 for one of the deadliest diseases known to humankind: smallpox. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that governments were routinely recommending people get vaccinated, and it was at this time that the pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus vaccines were all discovered and released worldwide.

The next big vaccine to come out was the polio vaccine, which was developed in 1955. The world rejoiced after this vaccine came out as children around the world would never have to know the fear or pain that the polio virus brought. Similarly, the hepatitis B vaccine in the 1990s saw a monumental decline in the number of carriers of the disease thanks to inoculating children at a young age. Depending on which country you live in, immunizations can be voluntary or mandatory. Likewise, some institutions, such as schools and companies, can require those that are involved with the organization to have some or all of the available immunizations.

Because of vaccines, many diseases had been thought to be completely eradicated. Smallpox, for instance, a disease that had decimated populations for centuries all over the world, has since been deemed eradicated. Measles, a disease that plagued infants and children for generations, was also thought to be defeated as well. However, with the recent rise in non-vaccinated children, Measles has been reported by several doctors in the United States.

The Importance of Vaccines

While the human immune system has evolved into one of the most complex and strongest immune systems in the animal kingdom, it still needs help fighting off many kinds of horrible diseases, such as measles, polio, mumps, rubella, and more. Vaccines help our bodies fight off dangerous diseases that normally would cause a lot of pain and suffering. They’re heavily researched and are always being finely tuned in order to offer the best care possible. Inoculating children as early as possible is the best way to prevent them from getting any of these diseases throughout their entire lives, giving them the best possible chance to living a happy and healthy life.

Take part in National Immunization Awareness Month this August and make sure you and your loved ones have all the vaccines they need. Learn more about your local Charlottesville family doctors, see what kind of health services we can offer you, or contact us to set up an appointment today.