August is recognized as National Immunization Awareness Month and HSHS St. John’s Hospital is reminding the community that immunizations are important for people of all ages.
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) was established to encourage people to stay up to date on vaccines recommended for them. NIAM also encourages parents to make sure their children are vaccinated and ready for the upcoming school year.
“Vaccinations are important for people of all stages of life,” said Gurpreet Mander, MD, MBA, CPE, chief physician executive of HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “Whether that be during infancy, pregnancy or as an adult, keeping up to date with your vaccinations protects your health now and in the future.”
In addition to routine vaccinations, the COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against this illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the benefit of receiving your COVID-19 vaccination is that it is effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized and even dying from COVID-19. If you or your child are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, St. John’s Hospital encourages you to get it.
HSHS Medical Group is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations for patients six months and older at HSHS Medical Group drive-thru locations in Decatur, Springfield and O’Fallon. Appointments are required for all vaccine doses and testing. Established patients may receive vaccines and testing at some primary care clinics. Call your local HSHS Medical Group primary care office to check availability.
How to make a vaccine appointment
It is free and easy to create a MyHSHS account and schedule an appointment online:
- Go to www.myhshs.org.
- Login or create a MyHSHS account by clicking “Sign Up Now.”
- Under Quick Links, click “COVID-19 Vaccine Link.”
- Click “COVID-19 Test/Vaccine” and answer questions on eligibility to schedule a test or a first, second or third dose vaccine appointment.
- You will be able to choose from available appointments at our Springfield, Decatur and O’Fallon drive-thru locations.
Vaccine appointments may also be scheduled by calling 1-844-216-4707. Testing appointments may not be scheduled by phone and must be scheduled online via MyHSHS.
It is important to note that vaccination not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but it also helps prevent the spread of disease to those who are particularly vulnerable to serious illnesses, such as infants, young children, the elderly and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.
To learn more about immunizations, vaccine schedules or well-child checkups, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines. To locate a primary care provider, visit www.hshs.org/find-a-doctor.