National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW will be April 27-May 4, and it is being marked locally by Richland Public Health.
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.
2019 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. VFC is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. The VCF program helps children get their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. It has helped increase childhood immunization coverage levels, making a significant contribution to the elimination of disparities in vaccination coverage among young children. Richland Public Health participates in the VCF.
During NIIW, Richland Public Health reminds parents and pregnant women about the importance of “on-time” infant immunizations. Richland Public Health encourages you to make sure your child is up to date on vaccines. If you’re pregnant, now is a great time to find a doctor for your baby and schedule a visit to discuss any questions you have about vaccines. This is also the perfect time to learn more about vaccines and the diseases they prevent by visiting credible websites, such as the CDC’s vaccine website for parents.
“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” Martin Tremmel, Health Commissioner at Richland Public Health, said. “They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. The most recent outbreaks of measles across the country are strong reminders that our children need these vaccines to be protected from potentially deadly diseases.” Among children born during 1994-2018, vaccination will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.
Adult and Child immunizations are available during all business hours at the Richland Public Health Clinic, 555 Lexington Ave., Mansfield, Ohio. Call 419-774-4700 to schedule an appointment at a time convenient for you. Walk-in customers are welcome.