From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date April 24, 2014
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
National Infant Immunization Week
Vaccines Protect Not Only Individuals but Entire Communities
ERIE COUNTY, NY—The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) recognizes the week of April 26 – May 3, 2014 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). This is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases as well as celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
2014 marks the 20th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public 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” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world, so continued vaccination is necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks.”
Burstein continued: “Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease, parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. That is why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.”
Currently, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. In addition to speaking with their child’s pediatrician, parents seeking trusted information about vaccinating their child should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website at: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents . The CDC’s website explains the 14 diseases vaccines prevent, CDC’s recommended schedule, possible side effects, how to comfort your baby during vaccine visits and more.
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For more information:
Erie County Department of Health –
Center for Disease Control and Prevention -- www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents
New York State Department of Health -- http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/
American Academy of Family Physicians -- www.aafp.org/patient-care/immunizations/schedules.html