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By Audrey Stasko, Public Information Specialist

August 03, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) recognizes August as National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), an annual observance to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages.

NIAM serves as a reminder to all parents, caregivers and health care providers to continue working together to ensure children are protected from serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.

Because Pinellas children are heading back to school on Aug. 13, now is a great time for parents and caregivers of seventh-graders to review their child’s immunization record and make sure they have the required vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Health Prevention (CDC) recommends the following vaccines to protect preteens and teens from serious diseases:

  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis and bloodstream infections (septicemia).
  • HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV.
  • Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis).
  • A yearly flu vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.

Teens and young adults may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine. Parents can send their preteens and teens to middle school, high school and college protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by following the recommended immunization schedule.

Visit your child’s health care provider or any DOH-Pinellas immunization clinic to get your child vaccinated before heading back to school. Children, ages 0-18, may be eligible to receive vaccines at no cost at any DOH-Pinellas immunization clinic through the Florida Vaccines for Children program.

For more information about childhood immunizations, go to

For more information about the Florida Vaccines for Children program, go to

For more information about DOH-Pinellas, go to or follow us on Twitter at @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit