Growing up, I never looked forward to my parents telling me it was time for my back to school doctor’s appointment. The physical check up was fine, it was the required immunizations that I dreaded. Until recently needles have absolutely terrified me, and because of this, I would plead with my parents to only make me get the required immunizations to attend school. This reaction and feelings carried into my adult life as well, even though I am beginning to get better with needles, I still do not like getting immunizations, blood drawn, etc.
However, with getting older and becoming less afraid of needles, my understanding of immunizations has grown as well and I do understand why they are required in schools at certain ages and why they are important. It is why during the month of August in both Jamaica and the United States “National Immunization Month” is acknowledged. To raise awareness of the importance of vaccinating children and adults of all ages against a number of serious diseases some of which can be deadly.
Now, I have also learned with age that Immunizations at all stages and ages is a personal choice, for parents they make the decision for their children and adults make the decision for themselves. As the month of August continues so does the spreading of awareness and acknowledgement of National Immunization Month.