April 22, 2014
GCHD Encouraging Infant Immunizations
Galveston County and Cities – National Infant Immunization Week is being observed nationally April 26th through May 3rd which has the Galveston County Health District encouraging everyone to make sure that all infants and all children are adequately immunized according to the recommended schedule.
Immunization week was first observed in 1994 and annually since then to remind people that vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death.
Immunizations not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
Dr. Mark Guidry, Galveston County Health Authority says, “Immunizations is one of several public health practices that prevent diseases and promote good health among groups of people. The is why during National Infant Immunization week we encourage parents and health care providers to check preschoolers’ shot records to make sure children are getting the shots they need, when they need them.”
As to the success of vaccines Guidry adds, “Vaccinations are one of the 20th century’s ten great public health achievements in the United States. They have resulted in the eradication of smallpox; elimination of polio in the Americas; and control of measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and other infectious disease in the United States and the world.”
It is now possible to protect children from more vaccine preventable diseases than ever before. However, District officials point out that even with the success of vaccines cases of preventable illnesses are still reported in Galveston County.
“1n 2013 alone, Galveston County diseases detectives investigated over 50 vaccine preventable diseases that occurred in Galveston County Residents,” says Guidry. “The diseases cause pain, suffering, spreading to others, and even the risk of death. In addition they require costly medical treatments and hospitalizations.”
Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious vaccine preventable childhood illnesses.
Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease, parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. That is why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
GCHD encourages everyone to visit one of their vaccination clinics during National Infant Immunization Week. For more information on locations and times of the clinics call (409) 938-2244 or visit the Health District’s website at www.gchd.org.
(News Media: For more information contact Kurt Koopmann, GCHD Public Information Officer, 409-938-2211 or firstname.lastname@example.org)