Immunizations Published Aug. 24, 2010 By Tech. Sgt. Jason N. Clark 28th Medical Group ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- It's getting to be that time again. The days are getting shorter and the temperature isn't as hot as it was earlier in the summer. Parents have a sparkle in their eye while children begin to look longingly back on the summer that was. Why? Because it is time to go back to school. Many have already begun hunting for bargains on back-to-school clothes and supplies, diligently checking off each required item needed for school- pencils, pens, paper, notebooks, rulers and book bags. And, immunizations - the only word that will make a kid run faster than the word, "homework." Since August is national immunization month, as well as the return to school, it's an excellent opportunity to remind parents of the importance of immunizing their kids. Immunizations for children are important because most schools and daycares will not allow children to attend unless they are vaccinated. Also, vaccines are just as effective at creating immunity as preventing the disease, infection, lingering side effects or potential loss of life. In addition, unvaccinated people who get the disease could have a lengthy recovery, resulting in missed time from school and social activities. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of each immunization, vaccines go through rigorous testing by the manufacturers and the Food and Drug Administration. For those parents leery of vaccinating their children, there is an online source full of educational resources, www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4012.pdf. School is right around the corner, supplies have been purchased, clothes have been bought and immunizations are rapidly approaching. They are a necessary step to ensuring the health and well-being of children as they make the transition from summer vacation to the classroom.