VALDOSTA – Immunization is a shared responsibility. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Vaccines not only help protect our children, but can also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 27 – May 4, and Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District urges South Georgians to speak with a health care provider or doctor to make sure their infants are up-to-date on vaccinations.
“One of the best ways to protect our children is to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations,” said Reomona Thomas, Immunization Program Coordinator for South Health District. “An equally important way to protect our children is to ensure families and friends are 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.
In Georgia, there have been three confirmed cases of measles since January 1, 2019. Because measles is a highly contagious disease that can lead to serious complications and death in infants, it’s important for parents and caregivers to make sure their families are up-to-date on their vaccinations.
For children who are underinsured or whose parents/guardians may not be able to afford vaccines, there is an assistance program called Vaccines for Children (VFC), which provides eligible children with vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule, at no cost for the vaccines. This program 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.