NH DHHS Recognizes National Infant Immunization Week

Concord, NH – This year National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), sponsored

by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is April 21–28.

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 making sure they are fully immunized against 14

vaccine-preventable diseases.

NIIW has been an annual event since 1994 with the goal of serving as a call

to action for parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers. 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 early 20th century, many children

contracted diphtheria and some even died from this infection, but today few

physicians graduating from medical school will ever see a case.

“New Hampshire continues to be one of the healthiest states in the nation

because our parents know the importance of vaccinations,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “In New Hampshire, the

pediatricians, family physicians, and other medical providers have been

instrumental partners in protecting children who in years past would have

been stricken by a number of deadly diseases. Infants are particularly

vulnerable to communicable diseases, which is why it is important to

protect all children by immunizing them on time. It is also important to

remind healthcare providers, parents, siblings, and grandparents and

caregivers to protect our smallest residents by getting themselves

vaccinated against whooping cough and influenza.”

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’ Immunization

Program. For more information, contact the Immunization Program at

603-271-4482, visit the website at

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html  or visit the CDC

website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines .