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 20–27.

Its purpose is to highlight the importance of protecting infants from

vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of

immunizations as a powerful public health tool. 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 1950s, most children contracted measles,

and some died from this disease, 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 and infants. But we need to be

careful about complacency. The number of pertussis cases, for example, is

rising in the U.S. and here in New Hampshire.”

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