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Protecting Your Health Through Immunization: Understanding the Importance of Preventative Care

April 24-30 is World Immunization Week


Tracy Clay, Nurse Practitioner at Aspirus Woodruff Clinic

In honor of World Immunization Week, Aspirus Health aims to motivate the community to stay up to date on immunizations – for both children and adults alike. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), billions of vaccine doses have been safely administered in the United States for more than 50 years. It is because of these efforts that afflictions such as polio and diphtheria feel like a worry of the past. (However, only one disease has been wiped out globally, and that’s smallpox.)


“One of the most pervasive myths providers hear is that children no longer need vaccines for diseases like polio, which is simply not true,” says Tracy Clay, Nurse Practitioner at Aspirus Woodruff Clinic – Maple Street. In other parts of the world, these terrible diseases are still present. Clay reminds us that global travel makes it easy for them to spread.


For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in 2021 and 2022, polio outbreaks were detected in areas with low vaccination rates, with cases of paralysis from polio found in the U.S. and London.


Health experts remind us that future outbreaks, from viruses and bacteria of many kinds, can be avoided with widespread vaccination. But millions of people around the world still do not have access to vaccines, resulting in one and a half million people dying every year from illnesses that could have been prevented by a vaccine according to the World Health Organization (WHO).


Fortunately, in the United States, vaccines are readily available to everyone who needs them.


“Vaccines are one of the most important aspects of preventive care, especially for children,” says Clay. “Preventing a deadly disease is a better choice than trying to treat it.” And it’s also important for parents to stay up to date with their own vaccines and boosters, such as tetanus.


“Health care providers understand that parents want what’s best for their children. And thankfully, we do too,” says Clay. “We’re here to talk through any concerns or questions about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, for your child OR yourself.”


Staying up to date on vaccinations means healthier kids and stronger, safer communities. Partner with your child’s health care provider to determine the best care possible to give them a happy, healthy life. For more information about vaccine recommendations per age groups, contact your primary care provider. To find one, visit



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