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April 19, 2010

National Infant Immunization Week

Vaccines Protect Children from Many Diseases-

OSWEGO - National Infant Immunization Week will be observed from April 24 to May 1, 2010.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designate National Infant Immunization Week to remind parents, health professionals, and the public that children deserve a healthy start by immunizing them against vaccine-preventable diseases.

There are now vaccines to protect children against 14 diseases before age two. Despite recent gains in infant immunization coverage, more than 20 percent of the nation's two-year-olds are not fully immunized against infectious diseases to which they are especially vulnerable.

"National Infant Immunization Week provides a chance for us to remember how important vaccines are and to renew our efforts to make sure no child needlessly suffers from a vaccine-preventable disease," said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County Director of Public Health.

During this year's National Infant Immunization Week, new mothers participating in the Women's Infants and Children (WIC) program can receive a coupon for a free TDap vaccination from the Oswego County Health Department. The TDap vaccination protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) and is one of the most important vaccines a mother can have to protect their infant.

"Making sure that mothers and other family members are vaccinated against whooping cough is an important means to prevent passage of the disease to young children," said Dr. Norfleet. "Ninety percent of all deaths from pertussis are among children under six months old, and children are not fully vaccinated against pertussis until age six."

Following the childhood immunization schedule and staying up-to-date on immunizations themselves is one of the best ways parents can protect their children's health.

The Oswego County Health Department offers immunization clinics from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse in Pulaski, and from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Friday at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St., in Oswego.

For more information on vaccinations, talk to your healthcare provider or call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547.


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