The Science Alliance of Tennessee, a consortium of six non-profit science museums across the state, announced it will participate in National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) throughout August, providing information to visitors and members about vaccine science.
Reflecting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alliance museums are highlighting the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout an individual’s lifetime, especially at a time when COVID-19 mitigation efforts continue to be a top priority for public health officials.
The campaign will focus on several key messages:
- As children head back to school this fall, it is important to make sure vaccination is at the top of the priority list. The CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/growing/) provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout a child’s life.
- Individuals have the power to protect themselves and their families against serious diseases through on-time vaccination.
- Today, most children in the United States lead much healthier lives and parents live with much less anxiety and worry over infections during childhood. Immunizations are one of the success stories of modern medicine.
- Routine vaccinations during childhood help prevent 14 diseases. Among children born from 1994-2018, vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, 8 million hospitalizations, and 419 million illnesses.
- Some diseases are no longer common in this country because of vaccination. However, if we stopped vaccinating, the few cases we have in the United States could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. The 2019 measles outbreaks are a key reminder of how quickly diseases can spread when children aren’t vaccinated.
- Individuals are encouraged to talk to their doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure they and their families are up to date on recommended vaccines.
Throughout the month of August, Science Alliance museums will be sharing information and resources on social media to highlight the importance of vaccines using #ivax2protect.
With its six member institutions, the Science Alliance of Tennessee has an annual economic impact of $44 million, engaging more than 1.1 million Tennessee students, teachers and visitors of all ages in hands-on learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Member institutions include:
- Adventure Science Center, Nashville (Steve Hinkley, President & CEO)
- Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga (Henry Schulson, Executive Director)
- Discovery Center, Murfreesboro (Tara MacDougall, President & CEO)
- Hands-On Discovery Center, Johnson City (Andy Marquart, Executive Director)
- The Muse, Knoxville (Allison Comer, Interim Executive Director)
- Museum of Science & History, Memphis (Kevin Thompson, Executive Director)