WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The month of August is dedicated to National Immunization Awareness within the health field. It’s an annual observance that highlights the importance of routine vaccination for people of all ages.

“When you are immunized, it actually helps your body build up the antibodies you need to prevent that disease,” said Rose Leonhard, a public health nurse at the Warren City Health District.

As students across the Valley begin to fill schools for the year, health and safety is a priority. Local health officials have observed a decrease in immunizations for school-aged kids since the pandemic.

“Hoping to get the word out that people know that they need to get their kids vaccinated before they go back to school. It is a requirement by the state of Ohio,” said Leonhard.

Immunizations are recommended for people of all ages.

“Not just kids but for adults as well. They help us prevent a lot of communicable diseases and there has been a rise in some of those, like we had a measles outbreak in Ohio last year,” said Leonhard.

The Ohio Department of Health says the goal of their immunization program is to reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases among Ohio’s children, adolescents and adults.

If parents are concerned or unsure about immunizations…

“Encourage those people to call us at the health department. Talk to us, talk over why they are concerned. We can give them information on the diseases these immunizations will prevent,” said Leonhard.

Medical experts say that all required immunizations should be taken seriously.

“They are all important. I can’t say there’s any one that’s more important than the others because all the diseases are preventable with immunizations and all of them can have serious consequences,” said Leonhard.

Immunization clinics are offered at various health districts across the Valley. You can call your local health care providers to set up a date.