According to the American Public Health Association (APHA), “people in many other high-income countries live longer and suffer fewer health issues than Americans today. This is the defining challenge of our generation — a challenge that we, the public health community, are uniquely positioned to help overcome.” And with a goal of becoming the healthiest nation by 2030, APHA’s Public Health Week aims to raise awareness and build community momentum around public health.
IndyHub serves as an advocate and a resource for -20 and -30 somethings here in Indianapolis, encouraging them to get connected and involved in causes they are passionate about. Every other year, their biennial research dictates what kinds of programs they provide for Indy’s millennials. This includes things like public transportation, public education, public safety, and public health!
In Indiana we are lucky to have a local health department that among other things, advocates passionately for disease prevention through vaccination. But with the flu still making its rounds locally, mumps erupting on university campuses across the country and a major measles outbreak in Europe, it seems like as good a time as any to revisit the best way to protect ourselves and loved ones from vaccine preventable disease.
According to the CDC, the flu vaccination prevents over 5 million illnesses and 2.5 million hospital visits annually. Unvaccinated individuals have an increased risk of flu and those under 5 and over 65 are at high risk for severe illness. But it’s not too late! The CDC says you can still visit your healthcare provider or a local pharmacy to get your flu shot and protect yourself for the remainder of the season.
Measles and mumps are both highly infectious airborne viruses that can be deadly. Vaccination has resulted in a 75% decrease in measles deaths since the year 2000… Children are generally immunized against both Measles and Mumps at 12 months of age and then again between 4 and 5 but some adults may be eligible for boosters as well. If you aren’t sure of you or your families’ vaccination status, the health department is here to help! Just sign up for MyVaxIndina and get access to your official immunization records online.
Feeling inspired to improve the health of our community? Here are a few ways you can get involved this week:
- Shot@Life is running a social media campaign Advocate To Vaccinate (#advocate2vaccinate). Make some noise on twitter to show your support
- Sign up to be an Immunization Ambassador and tell people #whyIvax. This free advocacy group gives away cool swag just for signing up and often runs contests with giveaways like apple watches and amazon gift cards
- Join the Go Green For Vaccines thunderclap campaign and wear neon green in support of vaccinations
- Join the #NPHWchat on twitter on Wednesday, April 5th and learn about more ways to get involved and make an impact on public health in your community