Media release: National Infant Immunization Week is April 22-29 and public health nurses at health departments in Bartow, Floyd, Gordon, and Polk counties are urging everyone 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.
“Vaccines are crucial to protecting children before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases,” said Janet Eberhart, immunizations coordinator for the Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District. “Immunization is a shared responsibility and we as parents, family, friends and health care providers can help keep our children and our communities protected by staying current on our immunization schedule. We urge parents to speak with their pediatrician or health care provider at every visit to make sure their infant is up-to-date on vaccinations.”
According to the most recent data available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Survey, Georgia immunization rates for Tdap were below the national average, ranking them 39th compared to other states. NIIW is a call to action to ensure that parents, grandparents and caregivers receive a dose of Tdap to protect infants from pertussis and that all infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
* 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.
“We encourage everyone – in observance of National Infant Immunization Week – to protect the little ones who cannot yet protect themselves,” Eberhart says. “Contact your pediatrician or your local public health department to ensure your infant is up-to-date on vaccinations.”
For more information:
- Contact the Bartow County Health Department, 100 Zena Drive SE, Cartersville, at 770-382-1920; the Environmental Health office at 770-387-2614, or visit nwgapublichealth.org/counties/bartow or www.facebook.com/BartowCountyHealthDepartment
- Contact the Floyd County Health Department, 16 East 12th Street, Rome, at 706-295-6123; the Environmental Health office at 706-295-6316, or nwgapublichealth.org/counties/floyd or www.facebook.com/FloydCountyHealthDepartment
- Contact the Gordon County Health Department, 310 North River Street, Calhoun, at 706-624-1444; the Environmental Health office at 706-624-1440, or nwgapublichealth.org/counties/gordon
- Contact the Polk County Health Department, 125 East Ware Street, Cedartown, at 770-749-2270; the Environmental Health office at 770-749-2253, or visit nwgapublichealth.org/counties/polk