August 2021: 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 and any side effects are usually mild and resolve 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 necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks, as even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can still be brought into the country, putting unvaccinated adults and children, and those with health conditions at risk; and,


WHEREAS, according to the CDC, efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19, such as the need for stay-at-home orders, have led many to miss their doctor's visits where they would receive their routinely scheduled immunizations; and,


WHEREAS, a recent study found that due to the pandemic, teens and adults may have missed more than 26 million doses of recommended vaccines in 2020; and,


WHEREAS, ensuring that routine vaccination is maintained or reinitiated during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks; and,


WHEREAS, while most parents vaccinate their children, the percent of Michigan children aged 19 through 35 months who are up to date on recommended vaccines in 2020 and 2021 is lower than 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, with the influenza season approaching, Michiganders should visit their local health department, vaccination clinics, doctors' offices, retail pharmacies, and some schools and workplaces to get the influenza vaccine when available to protect themselves and their families; 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, Michigan, in partnership with the Franny Strong Foundation, promotes 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 on the importance of timely vaccination; 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 designate August 2021 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.