THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

National Infant Immunization Week seeks to create healthier children

National Infant Immunization Week, which focuses on promoting the health benefits of immunizing children two and under, began on April 20.

NIIW has been celebrated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, local and state health departments, health care professionals, community leaders and immunization centers since 1994. NIIW will be hosted as part of World Immunization Week, a World Health Organization initiative which promotes the health benefits of immunizations worldwide.

Educational events hosted by state and local health departments, PACO and the U.S. Mexican Border Health Commission will take place all week in the U.S.

Health officials reported that childhood vaccinations are important and have drastically decreased infant mortality. With advancements in vaccine technology, infants are protected from 14 illnesses, including the measles, a previously endemic disease.

Officials projected 20 million cases of disease and 42,000 deaths have been prevented by routine vaccinations. An estimated $13.6 billion has been saved in direct healthcare costs by this preventative method.

NIIW seeks to make the public aware of the dangers of diseases that still exist without routine vaccinations for children under two years old. Other goals include improving communication between parents and health care providers and providing parents with better educational material to help them make the best health care decisions for their children.

NIIW supports efforts to educate the public about childhood immunization with public health care websites and local educational community events.