Each year, thousands of children in the U. S. become ill from diseases which could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss day care and school because they are under-immunized or inappropriately immunized.
The Rogers County Health Department and hundreds of communities across the U.S. will join those in countries around the world to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting the health of children, families and communities. The U.S. celebrates National Infant Immunization Week, (April 16 – 23), followed by World Immunization Week, (April 24-30), an initiative of the World Health Organization.
During National Infant Immunization Week, the Rogers County Health Department is reminding parents to ensure their children are fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases through immunization.
“Vaccines are available for all children, even those without health insurance, through the federal Vaccines for Children program, or through private health insurance,” said Regional Director, Larry Bergner. “In Oklahoma, all county health departments along with many private health care providers participate in the Vaccines for Children program.”
Vaccination starts with each individual child but the benefits extend to the entire community, state, country and world. Each dose of vaccine has the potential to save a child’s life and the lives of children around the globe. As diseases are eradicated by vaccines, all children born in the future will automatically be protected and won’t have to receive the vaccine because the disease will be gone. This has been accomplished with smallpox vaccine, and the potential to eradicate polio is close to becoming a reality.
In order to eradicate polio, all countries must maintain high vaccination levels. Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the U.S. and around the world, so continued vaccination is necessary to protect the public from potential outbreaks. Although many of these diseases are rare in the U.S., they are still common in many parts of the world and can be brought into the country via international travel.
For more information about childhood vaccinations, contact the Rogers County Health Department at 918-341-3166.