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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunizations (vaccines) prevent diseases that can make children very sick, cause lifelong disabilities and even death. They prevent diseases by making the body resist them. This helps your child stay well.

Immunizations also protect others. When more people have been given vaccines, diseases that can be prevented by vaccines cannot spread as much. This protects babies who are too young to get vaccines, people who are too old to get vaccines, and those with weaker immune systems or certain medical conditions who cannot get vaccines.

Some vaccines prevent diseases that are no longer common in the United States, but these diseases are still common in other parts of the world. The diseases can travel to the United States when people visit other places and return home. This has happened with measles in the last few years.

Some parents are unsure about whether to give their child immunizations. If you have questions or concerns after reading this, talk with your child’s healthcare provider or visit

For readily accessible information on the 2019 measles outbreak in western Washington, visit the Seattle Mama Doc podcast here.