OWEGO — Tioga County Legislators Tuesday urged residents to educate themselves and stay up-to-date with vaccines in order to help prevent the spread of contagious communicable diseases.

Issuing a proclamation, legislators noted that vaccines provide as safe and proven method to protect children from communicable diseases — such as whooping cough or the flu — at outbreak-prone locations such as childcare facilities, preschool programs and schools.

Additionally, legislators said vaccines are an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and a mother can pass some protection on to her baby, so long as she is up-to-date on vaccinations before becoming pregnant and should again received vaccines for the flu and whooping cough during pregnancy.

Noting that even healthy adults can become seriously ill and pass diseases on to others, legislators reiterated that all adults should be vaccinated to protect their health, and have their vaccination needs assessed by their primary care provider.

As a result of unanimous legislative approval, the county legislature proclaimed the month of August 2019 as Immunization Awareness Month in recognition of “one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the 20th century.”

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