With long shifts on your feet caring for patients, it’s easy to put off taking care of yourself, but taking time to ensure that you keep up with your own health is important. Since August is National Immunization Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to take a moment and make sure you, and your family, are up-to-date on all of your immunizations.
Missing immunizations can have repercussions on not only you but your family, your work, and the greater community. Here are four important vaccines to highlight and focus your attention on.
The summer has flown by in almost a blink, and we’re quickly heading towards flu season. This is one vaccine you should get every year (in many cases, they are mandated per hospital policy). Flu shots are very accessible and offered at most pharmacies and healthcare facilities.
With the BA.5 variant becoming the dominant strain in the United States and causing reinfections, it is essential for all healthcare professionals to make sure their COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are up-to-date. Vaccinations greatly reduce the risk of serious symptoms and death. In addition, like the Flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and easy to get.
With cases rising all across the United States, healthcare professionals should keep themselves informed on how to identify patients potentially infected with Monkeypox. Clinicians suspecting monkeypox infection should strictly adhere to infection control practices and must immediately notify the local health department in the county in which the patient resides. The primary distribution of the Monkeypox vaccine (JYNNEOS) is for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). As the vaccine program evolves, additional information on the program (outside of NYC), dose availability, and clinical guidance will be made available at https://health.ny.gov/monkeypox. If you are a New Yorker, the state has implemented a text-based service to keep you up-to-date on the newest information. Just text “MONKEYPOX” (or “MONKEYPOXSP” for texts in Spanish) to 81336.
While this entry is geared mainly towards New York caregivers, it is good practice for everyone. Recently, the New York State Department announced that polio had been found in wastewater in Rockland County. They urge all New Yorkers to ensure that their polio vaccinations are up-to-date. Since there is no cure or treatment for polio, a vaccine is the best way to combat the disease.
Take this as an opportunity to review your vaccination history and eligibility with your provider to ensure you, your family, and your community stays healthy. We know you’re busy, but we encourage you to take some time to focus on your own health. It’s better to be safe than sorry.