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April 21-28 Is Infant Immunization Week

OSWEGO, NY – April 21-28 is National Infant Immunization Week.

This annual observance aims to improve the health of children two years old and younger by reminding parents to immunize their children against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.

“Childhood disease is not extinct,” said Dennis Norfleet, MD, Oswego County Director of Public Health. “Before age two, all infants can and should be vaccinated against 14 preventable childhood diseases.”

Immunization is a matter of personal and public health.

In recent years, New York State has had outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, and mumps. These outbreaks can be traced to children who were not vaccinated.

Children younger than two years old are also at a higher risk for serious complications if they become ill.

“Measles is the most contagious of the vaccine-preventable diseases…it has a knack for finding those who have not been vaccinated,” said Dr. Norfleet.

The worst year for measles in the last decade nationally was 2008, when 140 cases were reported. Health officials warn that the disease can be dangerous.

Two cases of measles were reported in New York State in 2010, and the number rose to seven cases in 2011.

The Oswego County Health Department encourages parents to get all their infant’s vaccines and get them on time.

To find out what vaccines your child needs and when to get them, ask your health care provider or view the New York State Department of Health’s Recommended Immunization Schedule at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2378.pdf

Immunization clinics are held at the Oswego County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, every Tuesday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and at the Pulaski satellite office, H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, from 9 to 11a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month.

For more information about vaccines, childhood diseases, and National Infant Immunization Week, call the Oswego County Health Department at (315) 349-3547.