Dalton, (GA) – National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 20 - 27, 2013. The North Georgia Health District (NGHD), part of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), urges residents in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties to remember their little ones by speaking with a healthcare provider or doctor to make sure their babies are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
“Young children need champions in their lives to keep them protected,” said Marie Smith, district immunization and child health coordinator. “Parents think of car seats, safety locks, baby gates and external ways to keep our babies safe, but forget that one of the best ways to protect our children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations.”
Originally recognized in 1994, NIIW provides an invaluable opportunity for our community to remind people how important it is for children to be vaccinated. It is a call to action for parents, caregivers and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
*Two doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time and for some other children in this age group.
§Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age. The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. HepA vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against HepA. Children and adolescents, who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high risk, should be vaccinated against HepA.
Vaccines are safe and effective. According to the CDC, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Vaccines are given to children only after long and careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children.
Vaccination is the best way to protect others you care about from vaccine-preventable diseases.
In 2012, the United States saw an increase in the number of whooping cough cases reported with approximately 44,810 cases being reported, including 18 deaths. The majority of these deaths were among infants younger than 3 months of age. Similar to U.S. trends, Georgia saw an increase in whooping cough cases with approximately 321 cases being reported. However, Georgia had no pertussis-related deaths in 2012.
Be the champion in your child’s life and contact your pediatrician or your local public health department to ensure your infant is up-to-date on vaccinations. When it comes to vaccinations, don’t forget your little ones!
For more information on vaccinations, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html.
Denise Woods, Dalton City Councilwoman, Ward One presents Angie Callaway of Whitfield County Health Department's Children's Clinic with a National Infant Immunization Week (April 20-27) proclamation which recognizes the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases by getting them vaccinated!
Public Health staff at Cherokee County Health Department Clinics in Canton (above right) and Woodstock (below) celebrate NIIW 2013!
Pickens County Health Department staff celebrates National Infant Immunization Week 2013!