August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Senior Airman Walter Buckner administers an influenza vaccination for an Airman at the 134 ARW Medical Group. Senior Airman Buckner stated that it’s a very common reaction by many to be nervous around needles. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Young, 134 ARW Public Affairs)

Senior Airman Walter Buckner administers an influenza vaccination for an Airman at the 134 ARW Medical Group. Senior Airman Buckner stated that it’s a very common reaction by many to be nervous around needles. (U.S. Air National Guard photos by Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Young, 134 ARW Public Affairs)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- August marks National Immunization Awareness Month and although vaccinations are important to individuals of all ages, they are vital in keeping military members healthy.

When it comes to service members, immunizations are mandatory and must be maintained throughout one's military career.

"The military places a strong emphasis and importance on immunizations to ensure our members are worldwide qualified to serve at a moment's notice," said Capt. Cassandra Malone, surgical nurse with the 134th Medical Group.

Vaccines help the body develop an immunity to specific diseases by imitating an infection that causes the immune system to respond so the body can recognize and fight the disease in the future.

According to www.vaccines.gov, vaccines are the best defense individuals have against serious diseases such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, whooping cough and many more.

By receiving immunizations, individuals are giving diseases fewer opportunities to spread and cause outbreaks.

The Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinations are not just for protecting ourselves. By receiving immunizations we are also protecting our children's children by keeping diseases that have almost become extinct from making a comeback.

For more information about immunizations visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines.