Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger. “During National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), we celebrate the success of immunizations in preventing deadly diseases,” said Karen Moritz, Director Brown County Public Health. “Maintaining high immunization rates by vaccinating on time every time is the key to keeping dangerous diseases away from our communities.”

Parents and providers are doing a great job vaccinating!

The vast majority of parents fully vaccinate their child. Giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles.

Childhood diseases that were once common are rarely seen in the U.S. today because of the success of immunizations. Parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the devastating diseases they prevent, but these diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. That is why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life, before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Many of those diseases still circulate in the world and are just a plane ride away (or closer).

Vaccinating on time every time is the key to keeping deadly diseases away from our communities. Delaying or skipping immunizations puts children at risk for serious disease. Infants are exposed to thousands of germs every day. The antigens in vaccines given during a 2 month old check-up are just a drop in the bucket compared to what their body handles on a daily basis. Infants have a tough immune system that is ready to respond to each vaccine on the schedule!

Check your child’s immunization records and make sure they are up-to-date in their shots. For copies of your child’s immunization records, call Brown County Public Health at 507-233-6920 or call the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) at 651-201-5503 or 1-800-657-3970 or talk to your doctor.

The Minnesota Vaccines for Children (MnVFC) program provides free or low-cost shots to children (18 years of age and younger) who don’t have insurance or whose insurance does not cover the cost of vaccines

It’s never too early to think about immunizations for your baby.

Pregnancy is a great time to learn about what vaccines your baby will need. You can educate yourself about immunizations now before the excitement of having a new baby.

Organizations like these are a great place to get reliable information:

Minnesota Department of Health (www.health.state.mn.us/immunize)

American Academy of Pediatrics (www2.aap.org/immunization/)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/vaccines)

Vaccines are safe and are held to extremely high safety standards and they are continually monitored by doctors, researchers and public health officials even after they are licensed and used. Talk to your prenatal provider if you have questions about what immunizations your baby will need or the diseases they prevent.

Protecting newborns starts with immunizing mom during pregnancy.

Vaccines recommended during pregnancy are safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Two of those vaccines recommended are whooping cough (pertussis) and flu vaccine.

After a pregnant woman gets immunized, the antibodies she passes to her baby will protect the baby until they are old enough to get vaccinated.

When infants are too young to be vaccinated, adults and children around them should be vaccinated to provide protection.

Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago!

Love them, Protect them, Immunize them. For more information go to www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/niiw.html

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