OSWEGO – Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations.
Thousands more children miss time from day care and school because they are under-immunized or inappropriately immunized.
During National Infant Immunization Week, April 16 to 23, health officials around the nation remind parents to protect their children’s health by immunizing them against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.
“Before age two, all infants can and should be vaccinated against 14 preventable childhood diseases like whooping cough and measles,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “We encourage all parents to have their children immunized at a county immunization clinic or by their pediatrician.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States since 2010.
Between 10 and 20 babies, many of whom were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year.
“Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals,” said Deb McCarthy, RN, immunization coordinator for the Oswego County Health Department. “Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection, but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare.”
McCarthy said it is important to remember that vaccines not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.
Walk-in immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Center, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, and from 9 to 11 a.m. the third Tuesday of every month at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.
To find out what vaccines your child needs and when, ask your healthcare provider, visit the New York State Department of Health website at www.health.ny.gov/publications/2378.pdf or call the Oswego County Health Department weekdays at 315-349-3547.
Additional information is available online at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or call 800-CDC-INFO (800 232 4636).