April Health Beat

“Karen’s Kolumn” is researched and written by Public Health Nurse Karen Dolley. We appreciate her support and willingness to share!

This year, April 24-May1 is National Infant Immunization Week. The purpose is to create public awareness of the importance of immunizations to prevent illnesses that can be avoided.

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. They not only protect the individual receiving the immunization but help to protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Over one million of our two year olds in the United States are not adequately immunized. One of the most important ways parents can protect their children against serious disease is to immunize them. Most parents today are too young to remember diseases like polio, diphtheria, and whooping cough and the suffering, disabilities, and premature deaths they can cause. These diseases are still present and circulating in many parts of the world. It is important to remember that it is BECAUSE of the success of vaccines in preventing disease in the United States that many parents are unaware that their children are at risk for so many life threatening diseases.

Many side effects of vaccinations are minor and temporary and include a sore arm or leg and mild fever. Children are far more likely to be harmed by serious infectious diseases than by immunizations. Vaccinations are scheduled at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and between 4 and 6 years of age. Love them. Protect them. Immunize them.

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines, www.aap.org/immunizations, or www.immunize.org and be sure to talk with your child’s pediatrician.