National Infant Immunization Week
Published 12:13 pm Thursday, April 29, 2021
During National Infant Immunization Week, and every day, local health departments provide vaccines for all stages of a child’s life.
- Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.
- Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
A CDC report released in May 2020, found a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccination as a result of families staying at home. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations even during the pandemic. As in-person learning and play become more common, on-time vaccination is even more urgent to provide immunity against 14 serious diseases.
In 2019, 1,282 people from 31 states were reported as having measles. These measles outbreaks are a key reminder of how quickly diseases can spread when children aren’t vaccinated. In 2000, endemic measles was declared “eliminated1” from the United States, but this disease is still common in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa.
“Children in the U.S. can, and do contract some of these diseases”, says Colethia Moore, Immunization Coordinator for the West Central Health District. “And it’s sad, since these children became ill unnecessarily.”
National Infant Immunization Week provides an opportunity to highlight the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially to infants and young children. It’s also a time to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of vaccinations, so children will have a healthy start in life.
The health departments in the 16 counties of the West Central Health District remind you to protect your child, your family and your community. Make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. Contact your local health department for an appointment and to ask about accepted insurance plans. For children who are underinsured or whose parents/guardians may not be able to afford vaccines, an assistance program called Vaccines for Children (VFC), provides eligible children with vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule, at no cost for the vaccines.