Dear AJPM  reader,

August has been designated National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) in recognition of the overwhelming benefit of immunizations as a preventive intervention. The timing of NIAM coincides with the beginning of school as children receive booster and catch-up vaccinations required for school entry, as well as marking that time of year when we anticipate the start of a new influenza season and the need for annual influenza vaccination. Both of these events highlight the continuing importance of vaccination throughout all stages of life and the key role they play in promoting health and preventing disease at home and abroad.

Our August issue features several articles focusing on immunization in celebration of NIAM; we hope you find them interesting and informative:

Becker-Dreps S, Butler AM, McGrath LJ, Boggess KA, Weber DJ, Li D, Hudgens MC, Layton JB.
  • Infants whose mothers received tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunization during the third trimester of pregnancy experienced the lowest rates of pertussis.

Guo F, Cofie LE, Berenson AB.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been recommended in the U.S. for young females since 2006, and its effectiveness is reflected in the 29% decrease in cervical cancer incidence rates for females aged 25–34 years during the post-HPV vaccine availability in 2011–2014 compared to pre-HPV vaccine availability in 2003–2006. 

Hurley LP, Beaty B, Lockhart S, Gurfinkel D, Breslin K, Dickinson M, Whittington MD, Roth H, Kempe A.
  • Centralized reminder/recall effectively increased influenza vaccination rates in adults aged ≥65 years, with start-up and implementation costs of $0.86 per patient.

Yours in prevention and health,

Matthew L. Boulton, MD, MPH

American Journal of Preventive Medicine