Modified: May 17, 2016 3:11pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date April 21, 2016
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
National Infant Immunization Week
ERIE COUNTY, NY— National Infant Immunization Week (“NIIW”), April 16–23, 2016, is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.
Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the country have joined together each year during NIIW to promote infant immunization. Although immunization coverage among children has increased, recent outbreaks of measles in the United States underscore the importance of maintaining high immunization rates in every community.
“NIIW highlights the positive impact of vaccination on the lives of infants and calls attention to immunization achievements,” stated Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.”
Among children born during 1994-2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
Burstein added: “Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles. Parents should speak with their child’s healthcare provider to ensure that their baby is up-to-date on immunizations.”
Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must all work together to help protect the entire community. For example, protecting babies from whooping cough begins before a baby is even born. All pregnant women are recommended to receive the whooping cough vaccine, or “Tdap”, during the third trimester of each pregnancy. This helps to protect their baby from whooping cough until he can receive his first whooping cough vaccine at 2 months. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) page to learn about the Born with Protection campaign at www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant.
For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit the CDC’s page at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
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