August 2019: Immunization Awareness Month

WHEREAS, vaccines have greatly reduced infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children, and adults; and,


WHEREAS, currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history; any side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days; and,


WHEREAS, vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in Michigan, the United States, and around the world. Vaccination beginning at birth is important to protecting everyone from potential outbreaks, even rare diseases in the U.S. can be brought into the country, putting unvaccinated adults and children and those with health conditions at risk; and,


WHEREAS, in 2017, only 69.9 percent of children aged 19-35 months were up to date for the recommended vaccines, putting Michigan 29th in the nation for vaccination coverage; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan recently experienced its largest hepatitis A outbreak with over 900 cases of the vaccine-preventable disease, primarily in adults; and,


WHEREAS, in 2018, Michigan had the highest number of confirmed measles cases in the state since 1994 with 19 total cases and has already confirmed more than 40 cases in 2019; and,


WHEREAS, it is important to vaccinate on time, according to the recommended immunization schedule based on age and different risk factors, to provide the best protection throughout a lifetime; and,


WHEREAS, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages; and,


WHEREAS, in partnership with the Franny Strong Foundation, Michigan participates in the I Vaccinate campaign to provide information and tools based on real medical science and research to educate health care providers and parents of children; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and organizations across the nation to spread the message that vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect health and lower risks for certain diseases and cancers;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 2019 as Immunization Awareness Month in Michigan and encourage people of all ages to talk with their health care providers about the vaccines necessary to protect their health and the health of their families.