For Immediate Release
April 24, 2019
Kate Flavin


National Infant Immunization Week: a shared responsibility to protect the community

(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from 14 serious vaccine-preventable diseases including whooping cough and measles. This year marks the 25th anniversary of NIIW; it will be observed April 27 to May 4, 2019.

Sedgwick County’s Health Department continues to use this week to raise awareness about the importance of ensuring all children are fully protected from vaccine preventable diseases through vaccination. Vaccination is a shared responsibility. Today, many immunization programs, partners and communities can celebrate high infant vaccination rates.

“National Infant Immunization Week provides a valuable opportunity for our community to tell people how important it is for children to be vaccinated,” said Adrienne Byrne, Health Director. "Childhood vaccinations help protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases."

Giving babies the recommended vaccinations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases. The Health Department and the CDC encourages parents to talk to their child’s doctor to ensure that their baby is up-to-date on vaccinations.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children born between 1994-2018, vaccination will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, based on CDC research. Routine childhood immunizations provide a valuable level of protection that is vital to strengthening the health of our entire community.

Additionally, the CDC reports, currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. As new information and science become available, vaccine recommendations are updated and improved.