This week marks the 24th annual National Infant Immunization Week. Healthcare professionals from around the country are working together to highlight the importance of vaccinations for the lives of infants and children. Did you know through immunization, we are now able to protect infants and children from 14 different vaccine-preventable diseases before age two? Immunization prevents illness, disability and death from vaccine-preventable diseases including cervical cancer, diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, HPV, rotavirus diarrhoea, rubella and tetanus. Because of this, infant and childhood mortality are at an all-time low. And although some diseases, like polio and measles, have been virtually eliminated in the US as a result of immunizations, other diseases like HPV and hepatitis B, are still fairly common.
In order to help eradicate these diseases and to make sure your loved ones are kept healthy and safe, it is crucial to make sure every child receives the recommended vaccinations. Vaccinations are safe and effective, and although no one likes shots, the disease-prevention benefits far outweigh the discomfort. If you are not sure if your child is up to date on their vaccinations or you would like them to receive a vaccination they may have missed, contact your child’s pediatrician for more information. Get vaccinated, save lives.