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WCHD: Protect Babies from 14 Serious Childhood Diseases

Bowling Green, OH – National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) 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. This year, NIIW is scheduled to be held April 16-23, 2016.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.  Among children born during 1994-2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

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. Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world, so continued vaccination is necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks. Even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can still be commonly transmitted in many parts of the world and brought into the country by unvaccinated individuals, putting unvaccinated people at risk.

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Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor to ensure that their baby is up-to-date on immunizations.

 

“National Infant Immunization Week provides a valuable opportunity for our community to tell people how important it is for children to be vaccinated,” said Kathy Teeple, immunization nurse, “Childhood vaccinations are one of the best ways for parents to protect their children against vaccine-preventable diseases.” For more information about National Infant Immunization Week or childhood vaccinations visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines or www.woodcountyhealth.org

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