The summer flew by (doesn’t it always?) and it’s back to school time (what? already?). August is National Immunization Awareness Month and the March of Dimes wants to remind you that this is a great time to make sure your family is up to date on recommended immunizations to protect you and everyone around you from infectious diseases. The March of Dimes was founded more than 75 years ago by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his efforts to help develop a vaccine against polio.

While polio has been eliminated from the Western hemisphere, other vaccine-preventable illnesses still occur today, despite the fact that many people think they are a thing of the past.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are experiencing the largest number of measles cases since 1996. Additionally, children and adults are being diagnosed with pertussis – otherwise known as whooping cough – at alarming rates throughout the country.

Did you know there are new immunization requirements starting Sept. 1 in Minnesota? One includes the tdap requirement for seventh graders. This vaccine includes protection against pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria.

Why is getting the tdap vaccine so important? Pertussis, or whooping cough, can keep kids out of school and activities for weeks. It can also be spread to babies, which can be very dangerous.

That’s why we are continuing our work with Sanofi Pasteur on the Word of Mom: Celebrating Generations of Healthy Advice Campaign to help empower moms to make the best health decisions for themselves and all members of their families, which includes following the recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccination schedule. We’re also working with the Minnesota Department of Health to spread the word. Go to to learn more about vaccines for teen patients about what vaccines they need, where to find them and other common questions.

Talk with your doctor, nurse or clinic and learn about these important vaccines to protect your kids. To find resources and tools to raise awareness about the importance of vaccinations for the whole family, please visit