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University of Iowa News Release

 

Aug. 10, 2007

Now's The Time To Immunize, Say UI Disease Prevention Specialists

Disease prevention specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics say this is the ideal time of year to ensure that your family and friends are up-to-date on their immunizations.

August is Immunization Awareness Month across the nation. Parents are enrolling children in school, older students are entering college, and adults and the health care community are preparing for the upcoming flu season. This makes August a particularly good time to focus community attention on the value of immunization.

"Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that once routinely killed or harmed tens of thousands of infants, children and adults," said Jody Murph, M.D., UI associate professor of pediatrics and a pediatrician at UI Children's Hospital, located in UI Hospitals and Clinics.

The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist and can infect people who are not protected by vaccines. Vaccine-preventable diseases have a costly impact, resulting in doctors' visits, hospitalizations and premature deaths. Sick children can also cause parents to lose time from work.

Maintaining high immunization rates protects the entire community by interrupting the transmission of disease-causing bacteria or viruses. This reduces the risk that non-immunized people will be exposed to disease-causing agents.

"This type of protection is known as community or herd immunity and embodies the concept that protecting the majority with safe, effective vaccines also protects those who cannot be immunized for medical reasons," Murph said.

For accurate information about specific vaccines, go online to http://www.immunize.org. For further information or questions, consult your personal or family physician about the immunizations you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Go online to http://www.uihealthcare.com/familycare or call UI Health Access at 800-777-8442 to learn more or find a UI Family Care center close to you.

UI Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout Iowa. A 165-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. Child magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, thomas-moore@uiowa.edu.