In 2019, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) from April 27th-May 4th. When the NIIW observance was established in 1994, immunization programs were facing significant challenges. The nation was in the midst of a serious measles outbreak and communities across the U.S. were seeing decreasing immunization rates among children. 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. Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. However, we are seeing an increase in the number of children under two years old who are receiving no vaccines.
Vaccination is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community. Currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. It is important for parents and guardians to get reliable and valid information regarding the vaccines that protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community, including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Please see the recommended vaccination schedule below for children birth to 6 years old.
Currently, there continues to be reported cases of measles throughout the United States, including severe clusters in New York, Washington State, and Texas. Once a person is infected, there is no specific treatment for measles, meaning vaccination is a life-saving tool. One dose of the MMR vaccine — which protects against measles, mumps and rubella is 93 percent effective, and two doses are about 97 percent effective. For measles resources and information on vaccination recommendations, including for children traveling internationally, visit www.cdc.gov/measles.
If you have questions about the childhood immunization schedule, talk with your child’s doctor. For more information about vaccinations or to make an appointment for yourself or your child, please call the Allegany County Department of Health at 585-268-9250. To inquire about services or immunization clinics provided by the Allegany County Department of Health, go to www.alleganyco.com, click on “Government” (located middle, top) then “Health” (first drop down option), and then click “Immunization Clinic Schedule for 2019”.