Immunizations are considered to be one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over time, successful vaccination campaigns have contributed to the elimination or near-elimination of some diseases in the United States, like polio. But today, rates of some diseases are increasing and could continue to do so if vaccination rates decrease.
The CDC reminds parents during National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 26-May 3, of the role that vaccination plays in helping protect infants from certain diseases. The CDC also says that vaccination has had an enormous impact in helping to improve the health of children in the United States, and today vaccines can help protect children from 14 potentially serious childhood diseases by age two.
“As a mom and a nurse, I know that most parents are aware of what vaccines are recommended for their babies,” explained Beth Battaglino, RN, Chief Executive Officer of HealthyWomen. “But if vaccination rates drop, some diseases may increase, which could put our children at risk for those illnesses.”
It is also important to know that vaccines are not just recommended for infants. Vaccination is important in helping maintain health and wellness across a lifetime, and vaccines are recommended for people of all ages. While most young children in the United States receive many of the recommended vaccines, there is room to improve vaccination rates among all age groups, including adolescents and adults.
“Vaccines play an important part in helping people of all ages maintain health and wellness,” said Battaglino. “People may not be aware of all of the recommended vaccines beyond those recommended for babies, so it is important to learn more about which vaccines are recommended at different ages.” In fact, the CDC has recommended immunization schedules that cover children, adolescents and adults.
To learn more, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
This information is provided by Merck.