Immunization is a shared responsibility. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect our children when we vaccinate them, but can also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 16 – April 23, 2016, and Public Health Officials urge Georgians to speak with a health care provider or doctor to make sure their babies are up-to-date on vaccinations.
“Parents, caregivers and health care providers are all critical in keeping our children protected,” said Reomona Thomas, RN, immunization coordinator. “It’s easy to forget that one of the best ways to protect our children is to make sure they have all their vaccinations. When we protect our children, we are also protecting ourselves. Conversely, families and friends should think of their infants and ensure they are also current on their vaccinations to protect the little ones.”
NIIW is a call to action for parents, caregivers and health care providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization is a shared responsibility.
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.
For those who are underinsured or whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them, there is the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The VFC program helps children get their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule and has contributed directly to a substantial increase in childhood immunization coverage levels, making a significant contribution to the elimination of disparities in vaccination coverage among young children.
Vaccination is the best way to protect others you care about from vaccine-preventable diseases.
According to the CDC, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Scientists, doctors and health care professionals give vaccines to children only after long and careful review. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children.
For more information on vaccinations, visit http://dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section or call your local health department.