You know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep your babies safe. One of the best ways to protect them is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations. Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the United States, primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the positive impact that vaccines have had in the United States. It was once America’s most feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country. Thanks to vaccination, the United States has been polio-free since 1979. In the 1950's, nearly every child developed measles. Today, many practicing physicians have never seen a case of measles. Smallpox disease was eradicated worldwide due to the smallpox vaccine. Despite diseases being eliminated in the United States, cases and outbreaks can still occur. Continued vaccination is still necessary to keep outbreaks from happening.
The United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Vaccines are only given to children after careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals. Side effects are almost always mild, with redness or swelling at the site of the injection. This is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, risk of injury and death from the diseases these vaccines prevent. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, vaccines are a good investment and are usually covered by insurance. The federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program can also assist uninsured and underinsured families by providing vaccines free of charge to qualifying children.
Daniel J. Stapleton, the Public Health Director of Niagara County added "We consider the vaccination of children an active partnership between a child's parents, their physician, and the local health department. Together we protect our communities and those at risk."
To help keep your babies safe, it is important that you and other family members are fully immunized. If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. For more information about the importance of infant immunizations, visit the CDC's vaccine website for parents. You can view easy-to-read immunization schedules, an immunization tracker, videos, fact sheets and PSAs by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for you, your infant or child to receive immunizations, call the Niagara County Department of Health Immunization Program at (716) 278-1903.