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The Local Take Talks Immunizations and Vaccines with Dr. Tammy Beckham

Saturday morning at 8am on WCLK's The Local Take I spoke with Dr. Tammy Beckham from the US Department of Health and Human Services in support of National Immunization Awareness Month.  Dr. Beckham shares that immunization comes from receiving a vaccine. 

I ask Dr. Beckham about the recent measles outbreak in the USA, she explains that it has been a global outbreak with a 300% increase in cases over the last year.  She explains that herd immunity is needed to ensure that people with suppressed immune systems who cannot receive the vaccine are protected.  She explains that the measles can result in severe illness with one in five people requiring hospitalization. 

We discuss the vaccinations that young children need for school, but I ask her about teens who are starting high school or college and she shares information about the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical cancer, and the Meningitis B vaccine that college-age students should consider. 

I ask if you "age" out of vaccines and she explains that the HPV vaccine is available up to the age 40 and that citizens at age 50 should look into receiving the shingles vaccine and the pneumonia vaccines. 

Everyone should make sure they are up-to-date on the tetanus vaccine and receive an annual flu shot. 

Dr. Beckham emphasizes that vaccines are the single most important thing you can do to prevent major illness. 

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