FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2023
City of Milwaukee Health Department Urges Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month
MILWAUKEE – National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of routine vaccination for people of all ages. Many people missed routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Immunization rates across the country, including within Milwaukee, saw a concerning decrease, so it is especially important this year to get caught up with the recommended immunization schedule. You have the power to protect yourself, your children, and your community against serious, preventable diseases.
Routine vaccinations during childhood and adolescence can prevent many diseases that were once common, such as measles, polio, cancers caused by HPV, and whooping cough. Some adults are unaware that there are also recommended vaccines for their age groups including vaccines to prevent influenza, shingles, and pneumococcal disease.
Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to safely provide protection against viruses or bacteria that cause infection. After vaccination, the immune system is prepared to respond quickly when the body encounters the disease-causing organism.
Vaccines are safe and effective. The routine immunizations are thoroughly tested and regulated to ensure their safety. Before a vaccine can be approved, it must go through years of testing to show it is safe, effective, and its benefits outweigh the risks. Once a vaccine is approved for use, the FDA and CDC continue to monitor its safety.
Parents and guardians must take an active role in ensuring the health and safety of their families and our community:
The City of Milwaukee Health Department administered 220 doses of immunizations at the 22nd Annual Back to School Health Fair on Friday, July 28, exceeding Mayor Johnson’s goal of 200 doses of immunizations.
“We were encouraged to see so many families prioritizing the health of their little ones ahead of the school year,” said Dr. Mike Totoraitis, City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner. “I urge all parents and guardians to make the life-saving decision to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases. The first step to keeping kids safe, healthy, and in the classroom this school year is by ensuring they are up-to-date on their immunizations.”
Any eligible families who were unable to attend the Health Fair can still get free school-required vaccines for their children at the Milwaukee Health Department Health Centers without proof of insurance. Anyone who receives their immunizations at one of our clinics will also receive a free backpack filled with school supplies, while supplies last. The Milwaukee Health Department immunization clinics can provide vaccinations free of charge to children (18 years of age or younger) who meet one of the following criteria:
- Child is uninsured (no medical insurance)
- Child is enrolled in or eligible for Medicaid/BadgerCare
- Child is Native American or Alaska Native
Milwaukee Health Department Immunization Clinic Hours of Operation:
Northwest Health Center
7630 W. Mill Road
- Wednesdays: 3 – 6 p.m.
- Fridays: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Southside Health Center
1639 S. 23rd Street
- Mondays: 3 – 6 p.m.
- Tuesdays: 1 – 4 p.m.