It's National Immunization Month, and New Jersey health officials are encouraging residents to protect themselves.

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In order to highlight the importance of immunization across one's lifespan, August has been named National Immunization Awareness Month - making it a great time for New Jersey residents to become up-to-date on vaccinations.

"Schools are a prime venue for transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccinations create a shield of protection to help all children stay healthy," New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowdsaid in an emailed press release on Tuesday. "National Immunization Awareness Month serves as a reminder for parents to make sure their children get the immunizations they need before returning to school."

Each week is dedicated to the promotion of vaccinations in different age groups:

  • A Healthy Start: babies from birth to age 2 (Aug 3-9)
  • Back to school: children, preteens and teens (Aug 10-16)
  • Off to the Future: young adults (Aug 17-23)
  • Not Just for Kids: adults (Aug 24-30)

"It is Important for all health care professionals to routinely asses their patients and make a strong recommendation for needed vaccinations. It is also important for all health care professionals to make sure they have all the recommended vaccines themselves," said Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito, in an emailed press release.

There are multiple vaccinations children and adults alike could benefit from. For a full list of New Jersey's immunization requirements, visit the NJ Department of Health website.