National Infant Immunization Week
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 and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
In 2019, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health. NIIW 2019 is April 27-May 4, 2019.
5 Reasons to vaccinate your children
You want to do what is best for your children. You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe. But, did you know that one of the best ways to protect your children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations? According to the CDC, here are 5 important reasons to get your child vaccinated:
1. Immunizations can save your child’s life.
Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the U.S. – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.
2. Vaccination is very safe and effective.
Vaccines are only given to children after careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccine side effects are almost always mild such as redness or swelling at the site of the shot, but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and risk of injury and death from the diseases these vaccines prevent.
3. Immunization protects others you care about.
Some infants might not be able to get a vaccine for a medical reason. Therefore, it is extremely important for those who can get the vaccine, do. Doing this will keep those without the vaccine safe from the disease. When a lot of people or children don’t get vaccinated, then we will see a spike in the increase of vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, for example.U.S. health officials recently confirmed 71 new cases of measles last week, putting this year just a few dozen cases shy of becoming the worst year on record since the disease was said to be eradicated from the U.S. in 2000. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 71 new cases of measles, bringing the total so far this year to 626 cases. In 2010, the worst year on record since 2000, the CDC confirmed 667 cases.
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. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. If you need help, the Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. To find out more, visit the CDC VFC site, or ask your child’s health care professional.
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. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists anywhere in the world.
Further Questions About Immunizations
If you have any questions regarding your children’s vaccines, please talk to their pediatrician. They will be able to answer your questions, and explain in further detail the importance of vaccines. For a list of vaccines, and when they should be given throughout your child’s life, please refer to one of our earlier blogs articles.