The Moore American

April 23, 2013

Vaccines important for infants

American Staff
The Moore American

MOORE — Communities across the country will celebrate National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) through Saturday.

NIIW emphasizes the need to fully immunize children ages 2 years and younger against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.

“It’s never too early to start protecting your child from infectious diseases,” said Shari Kinney, Cleveland County Health Department administrator.

“Choosing to delay or avoid immunization can lead to devastating and heartbreaking consequences.”

This year’s theme, “Immunization. Power to Protect.” reminds parents that children need vaccinations to be fully protected from debilitating and potentially deadly diseases. Infants whose immunizations are delayed are vulnerable.

Parents are often unaware children are at risk for so many diseases.

Low levels of disease in the community means vaccination programs have been successful.

Immunizations are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools of all time.

However, public health professionals express concern that certain diseases are on the rise because parents choose to avoid immunizations for their children.

“Just because your child is healthy now doesn’t mean they won’t get sick from a vaccine-preventable disease later. Routine infant and toddler immunizations will protect against serious illness in the future,” Kinney said.

If a child does not have health insurance or is only partially insured, your doctor or health department can provide information about the Vaccines For Children program, which provides free or low-cost vaccines for children and infants.

For more information on where to get immunizations, visit the Cleveland County Health Department at 424 S. Eastern Ave. or call 794-1591.