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Atrium Health Navicent Physicians Urge Community to Catch Up on Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month

Doctors offer vaccine guidelines for all ages

Atrium Health Navicent physicians urge the community to catch up on recommended vaccinations this August in observance of National Immunization Awareness Month and to take preventative steps to improve health and wellness.

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available and recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. COVID-19 booster shots are recommended for everyone aged 5 years and older. Schedule your vaccine appointment by visiting CovidSafeGA.org or visit dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine to locate a COVID-19 vaccine provider.

It’s also important for parents and guardians to ensure children are up to date on routine vaccinations. On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because the vaccines provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at recommended ages.

“Vaccines are an important component of disease prevention, not just for children but also for adults,” said Dr. Michele Edwards-Paschal, an internal medicine physician practicing at Atrium Health Navicent Primary Care Internal and Family Medicine North Macon. “If it’s been a while since you or your child has seen a primary care physician, chances are you are behind on one or more vaccines. The pinch of a shot lasts just a moment, but it can make a significant impact on your or your child’s health.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following age-based guidelines to help parents understand which vaccines children need as they grow up, and which vaccines are recommended for adults.

Birth to age 2:

• Chickenpox

• Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP)

• Flu

• Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)

• Hepatitis A and B

• Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

• Pneumococcal (PCV13)

• Polio

• Rotavirus

Ages 3 to 10:

• Chickenpox

• Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP)

• Flu

• Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

• Polio

Ages 11 to 18:

• Flu

• Human papillomavirus (HPV)

• Meningococcal conjugate

• Serogroup B meningococcal

• Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP)

Adults:

• Flu

• Tetanus and Diphtheria booster is recommended every 10 years

• Healthy adults ages 50 and older should receive the shingles vaccine

• Healthy adults ages 65 and older need the Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine followed by the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

• Adults may need other vaccines based on health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits

For additional information about adult vaccine recommendations, the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool, accessible at www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched, can help. Individuals with questions about vaccinations are encouraged to consult their primary care physician. To find a doctor, visit www.NavicentHealth.org and click “Find A Doctor.”

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org.