For Immediate Release
April 24, 2017
INDIANAPOLIS – National Infant Immunization Week, April 22-29, highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates how immunization programs are promoting healthy communities.
Vaccinating children on time is the best way to keep them safe from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday.
“Following the recommended vaccination schedule helps protect babies early in life when they are most vulnerable,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director of the Marion County Public Health Department. “Getting children all the vaccines they need by age two is one of the best things parents can do to help keep their children healthy.”
Public health and medical experts base their vaccine recommendations on a number of reasons. They study information about diseases and vaccines very carefully to decide which vaccines kids should receive and when they should get them for best protection.
Although the number of vaccines a child needs in the first two years may seem like a lot, doctors know a great deal about the human immune system. They know that a healthy baby’s immune system can handle receiving all vaccines when they are recommended.
Dr. Caine cautions against parents delaying vaccination because this puts babies at risk of getting sick from serious infectious diseases. When parents choose not to vaccinate or to follow a delayed schedule, children are left unprotected against diseases that are still passed from person-to-person in this country, like measles and whooping cough.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen between 10,000-50,000 cases of whooping cough each year since 2010. Plus, up to 20 babies die from whooping cough each year in the U.S. Most whooping cough deaths are among babies who are too young to receive their own vaccination.
The Marion County Public Health Department offers low-cost immunizations for infants and people of all ages at its district health offices. Children and young adults from birth up to age 26 can also go to the ACTION Health Center. For a list of vaccinations and health office locations, visit MarionHealth.org or call the health department’s Immunizations Program at 317-221-2122.
Consult your child’s medical provider about questions regarding the immunization schedule. Vaccine information is also available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.
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Media/Public Information Coordinator
317-221-2316 (o) │ 317-525-7450 (c)