National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.
Nancy Haren, Grundy County Public Health Manager wants to remind parents to review their child's immunization record and get them up to date for maximum protection against vaccine-preventable diseases. There are five important reasons to vaccinate your child.
1) Immunizations can save a child's life. One example of the great impact that vaccines can have is the elimination of polio in the United States.
2) Vaccination is safe and effective. Side effects are very rare and the prevention benefits of getting the vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children.
3) Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. today still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen a resurgence of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. In 2010 the U.S. had over 21,000 cases of whooping cough reported and 26 deaths, most in children younger than 6 months who are too young to be immunized. As families prepare for a new baby, they should make sure that everyone who will be caring for that child is fully vaccinated against flu and the whooping cough. Those needing to be immunized include mom and dad, siblings, and other caregivers like grandparents and baby sitters. According to IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, Cocooning the baby with healthy people will prevent the baby from being exposed to the flu and whooping cough.
4) Immunizations can save your family time and money. Some vaccine preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care.
5) Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to see that some of the diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.