National Infant Immunization Week is April 18 – April 25, 2015

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 18 – April 25, and Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) along with the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) urge all Georgians to protect infants from vaccine-preventable diseases by ensuring our little ones and everyone around them, are vaccinated and up-to-date on their immunization schedules.

“Parents, caregivers and health care providers are all critical in keeping our children protected,” said Priti Kohle, Immunization Program Coordinator, Cobb & Douglas Public Health“It’s easy to forget that one of the best ways to protect our children is to make sure they have all their vaccinations. Be their champion and take the initiative to affirm your child is up-to-date on the recommended immunizations.”

According to the most recent data available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Survey, Georgia immunization rates for Tdap were below the national average, ranking them 39th compared to other states. Similar to national trends, the number of pertussis cases in Georgia increased in 2014 with 396 pertussis cases reported to DPH compared to the 269 cases reported in 2013. Of those 396 pertussis cases reported in 2014, 99 (26.8%) were infants < 12 months of age.

NIIW is a call to action for parents, caregivers and health care providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.

Immunization Schedule

 Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

* Two doses given at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who are getting a flu vaccine for the first time and for some other children in this age group.

§ Two doses of HepA vaccine are needed for lasting protection. The first dose of HepA vaccine should be given between 12 months and 23 months of age.  The second dose should be given 6 to 18 months later. HepA vaccination may be given to any child 12 months and older to protect against HepA. Children and adolescents, who did not receive the HepA vaccine and are at high-risk, should be vaccinated against HepA.

According to the CDC, the United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Scientists, doctors and health care professionals give vaccines to children only after long, thorough and careful review. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children. Vaccination is the best way to protect others you care about from vaccine-preventable diseases.

In observance of National Infant Immunization Week, plan to protect the little ones who cannot yet protect themselves. Contact your pediatrician or your local public health department to ensure your infant is up-to-date on vaccinations.

For more information on vaccinations, visit www.dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section.