Steuben County Public Health officials are reminding parents giving babies the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious, and sometimes deadly, childhood diseases during National Infant Immunization Week, starting April 27 to May 4.
“Currently, the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history,” said Gail
Wechsler, county Public Health Program Coordinator. “However, there has been an increase in the
number of children under two years old who are NOT receiving vaccines.
Wechsler said even rare diseases in the U. S. can be brought into the country, putting unvaccinated people at risk. For example, due to some unvaccinated people who traveled internationally
and became ill with measles, the number of measles cases in the United States, more than 680, has
surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000.
“Sometimes, one of the best ways to protect infants less than a year old from disease is for the mom and other caregivers to get vaccinated as well,” Wechsler said. “Protection from whooping cough can be provided by getting a Tdap shot in the third trimester for pregnant women. All caregivers, including dads, grandparents, siblings, and childcare providers who have not been vaccinated with Tdap previously should get the vaccine before the baby is born.”
To see what immunizations your child needs, use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s
schedule for childhood immunizations, located at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-toread/child.html.