NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK APRIL 21 - 28
Health Department encourages parents to immunize their babies
WOODSTOCK IL – During the last week in April, McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) joins hundreds of communities across the United States in drawing attention to the critical role vaccination plays in protecting the health of our children, families, and communities. The Health Department reminds parents to talk with their child’s doctor to ensure immunizations are current. The 2018 infant immunization schedule can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.
Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease, parents may not be aware of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. For parents who qualify, MCDH offers the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. VFC is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at little or no cost for children from low-income families or those whose health insurance does not adequately cover the cost of vaccinations.
According to Susan Karras, RN, BSN, MBA, Nursing Division Director for MCDH, “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 1994-2016, vaccination will prevent an estimated 381 million illnesses, 24.5 million hospitalizations, and 855,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
Most parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines. Giving babies 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. For more information on vaccines or the VFC program, contact MCDH at 815-334-4500 or online at www.mcdh.info.