Currently, vaccination rates are at all-time highs and occurrences of most childhood diseases are at all-time lows. More than 75% of the nation's 2-year-olds have received the recommended basic series of vaccinations that means 25% have not. More work is needed.
National Infant Immunization Week April 20-26 is an annual observance that highlights the importance of timely immunization. This year's theme is "Don't Wait Vaccinate." Your activities during this special week are really important, because pediatricians have such an influence on parental behavior. You can help raise the rate to meet the national goal: to have at least 90% of children fully immunized by age 2 by 2000.
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new childhood immunization schedule. The CDC is also emphasizing the need for pediatricians and other health care providers to discuss with parents or caregivers the immunization status of children at every sick- and well-child visit.
The goals are to:
You can obtain a National Infant Immunization Week Community Guide that provides ideas to help get the message out. To keep the immunization message in front of the public beyond NIIW, you may want to piggyback your message with community events throughout the year. For example, you can hand out fliers at a community health fair. There are lots of ideas in this book.
The CDC would like to know if you plan any activities for National Infant Immunization Week. You can contact them by fax at 404-639-8555, or write them at:
Community Outreach and Planning Branch
Immunization Services Division
National Immunization Program
1600 Clifton Road, MS E-52,
Atlanta, GA 30333.
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