April 20-27, 2013 is Infant Immunization Week

Your children are at risk if they have not been immunized against 14 vaccine- preventable childhood diseases. They could become ill with diseases like whooping cough, the flu and measles. Children younger than two years old are also at a higher risk for serious complications if they become ill.

April 20-27 is National Infant Immunization Week. This annual observance aims to improve the health of children two years old or younger by reminding parents to immunize them against vaccine- preventable childhood diseases.

Before age two, all infants can and should be vaccinated against 14 preventable childhood diseases like whooping cough and measles.

When children are not immunized, they may become ill and cause widespread outbreaks of disease. In recent years, New York State has had outbreaks of measles and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Measles is the most contagious of the vaccine-preventable diseases. It has a knack for finding those who have not been vaccinated.

The worst year for measles in the last decade nationally was 2011, when 222 cases were reported. Health officials warn that the disease can be dangerous. In New York State in 2011, there were 7 cases of measles.

In 2012, New York State and the United States experienced the largest pertussis outbreak of the last 50 years. This occurrence reminds us how important it is for all New Yorkers to be properly immunized with vaccines containing pertussis.

We join the New York State Health Department in encouraging parents to get all their infant’s vaccines and get them on time. To find out what vaccines your child needs and when, ask your health care provider or scan the QR Code below to view the New York State Department of Health’s Recommended Immunization Schedule. These vaccines may save your infant’s life.

For more information about vaccines, childhood diseases and National Infant Immunization Week, call your health care provider at Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc. at 315-476-7921, your “Healthcare Home of Choice.”