The Erie County Department of Health recognized the week of April 26 – May 3, 2014 as National Infant Immunization Week.
“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,” the ECDH said, in a press release.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together in this endeavor.
“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein.
“They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
“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 added.
The health commissioner said that, 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.”
Parents seeking information about vaccinating their children may visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents