National Infant Immunization Week
The New Mexico Department of Health this week observes the 20th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week (April 26th – May 3rd) and encourages parents to talk with their child’s doctor about getting up-to-date on vaccines—particularly as summer activities approach.
“Parents planning to enroll their babies and young children in summer programs should ensure their children are vaccinated against diseases such as whooping cough, measles and chicken pox,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Parents of older children should also be vaccinated because they’re at increased risk of not only getting diseases, but also spreading those diseases to others in summer programs.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases such as whooping cough and measles.
Currently, New Mexico’s child vaccination rates are above the national average and the highest they’ve ever been. New Mexico in 2012 was at 71.6 percent series completion for what’s called the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series; the US coverage was 68.4%. The immunization series provides protection against the following vaccine-preventable diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, varicella, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenza type B. The goal is to reach 90 percent by the year 2020.
The Department of Health provides immunizations at Public Health Offices throughout the state for children and adults at no charge. Parents are encouraged to bring insurance cards if they have them.
Consequences can be severe if infants are not immunized. Disease often brings economic and social costs, time and resources visiting doctors, hospitalizations and poor child and educational development. These consequences are in addition to all of the direct physical symptoms and problems that come with disease—and in some cases can be fatal.
See our list of Public Health Offices to find a location in your area.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.