Concord, NH – This year National Infant Immunization Week, an annual event since 1994 sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is April 23rd through 30th. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases, many of which can be fatal. 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 having them immunized.
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 nearly every child contracted measles and many even died from this infection, but today few physicians graduating from medical school will ever see a case.
“Vaccination is one of the greatest discoveries of modern medicine,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “They have reduced the number of people, especially children, stricken by disease every year to a fraction of the level see half a century ago. Vaccines help by no only preventing infectious disease but by protecting entire communities including those too young to be immunized. Infants are particularly vulnerable which is why it is critical to protect them through immunization as soon as possible.”
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. For more information, contact the New Hampshire DHHS Immunization Program at 603-271-4482, visit the website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/immunization/index.htm , or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines .