Dr. Maria BeningPhoto of Maria Bening, MD

Dr. Maria Bening is currently a second-year resident in Family Medicine at the Washington Health System Family Medicine program. She was born near Minneapolis and grew up in Waconia, MN. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, receiving a B.S. in Neuroscience. She earned her medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School and was excited to return to Southwestern PA for residency. In her free time, she enjoys running and looking at books.

National Vaccine Awareness Month

August is National Vaccine Awareness Month. The families in our area do an excellent job protecting their children with all the recommended childhood vaccines. There is a straightforward and safe immunization schedule that was researched and set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are also very strongly suggested immunizations such as HPV for cancer protection for boys and girls alike.

Adults need certain vaccines too. Every year, an influenza shot can prevent the flu or potentially reduce the symptoms if you do get sick. A tetanus vaccine is recommended every 10 years, so we often see young adults who are due again. Additional vaccines are recommended depending on your age and medical history. Talk to your doctor about any vaccines for your individual needs, whether it is for regular protection or updating immunizations for work.

This year we are waiting for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, hopefully at the beginning at the new year. You should still get your influenza vaccine in the fall and be up-to-date on other vaccines. While the threat of COVID-19 remains very real, existing vaccines can protect you so that you are not weakened by other, preventable diseases.