Concord, NH – This year National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is April 21–28. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases, many of which can be fatal. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Immunization Program wants to remind people to protect our most vulnerable citizens, infants and young children, by making sure they are fully immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
NIIW has been an annual event since 1994 with the goal of serving as a call to action for parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers. Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease in the United States, parents are often unaware that their children are at risk for so many serious and life-threatening diseases. In the early 20th century, many children contracted diphtheria and some even died from this infection, but today few physicians graduating from medical school will ever see a case.
"New Hampshire continues to be one of the healthiest states in the nation because our parents know the importance of vaccinations,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “In New Hampshire, the pediatricians, family physicians, and other medical providers have been instrumental partners in protecting children who in years past would have been stricken by a number of deadly diseases. Infants are particularly vulnerable to communicable diseases, which is why it is important to protect all children by immunizing them on time. It is also important to remind healthcare providers, parents, siblings, and grandparents and caregivers to protect our smallest residents by getting themselves vaccinated against whooping cough and influenza.”
Vaccines for children from birth through age 18 are funded by the Vaccines for Children Program (a federal program) and the New Hampshire Vaccine Association (a New Hampshire insurance fund) and distributed through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Immunization Program. For more information, contact the Immunization Program at 603-271-4482, visit the website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html, or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines.