Recent measles outbreak illustrates importance of vaccination
LANSING, Mich. – Routine childhood immunizations protect children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases by the age of two. During National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging Michiganders to ensure their children are fully vaccinated on time for the best possible protection from these serious diseases.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of NIIW, an annual observance highlighting the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most successful and cost-effective public health achievements. Globally, vaccinations prevent 2 to 3 million deaths each year.
NIIW is April 27 – May 4, and is celebrated as part of World Immunization Week, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO included vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.
Pockets of low vaccination coverage have allowed diseases like measles to make a resurgence in countries where it had previously been eliminated. The U.S. has been experiencing multiple measles outbreaks in 2019, including one in Michigan. As of April 17, Michigan has had 43 cases of measles confirmed, the most cases in a year since 1991.
“Now more than ever, it is important to make sure Michiganders, especially children, are up-to-date on all recommended immunizations,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “Vaccines are safe and effective, and the best way to protect yourself against diseases like measles, hepatitis A, whooping cough and influenza.”
Parents should talk to their child’s healthcare provider about what vaccines their child needs today to stay protected. In an effort to help parents protect their children from serious vaccine-preventable diseases, MDHHS participates in the I Vaccinate campaign. I Vaccinate provides the facts parents need to make informed decisions about vaccinations. For more information about immunizations and the I Vaccinate campaign, visit IVaccinate.org.