Concord, NH – This year National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is April 20–27. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunizations as a powerful public health tool. 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 1950s, most children contracted measles, and some died from this disease, 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 and infants. But we need to be careful about complacency. The number of pertussis cases, for example, is rising in the U.S. and here in New Hampshire.”
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 www.cdc.gov/vaccines.