The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) is recognizing the week of April 21–28, 2012 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), by encouraging parents to make sure their infant is up-to-date on immunizations now. This year’s theme is "Immunization. Power to Protect.” National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children two years old or younger.
Recent increases in probable cases of pertussis (whooping cough) across Florida and Orange County are a reminder of the importance of infant immunizations. The occurrences in Florida are consistent with the rise in cases seen across the United States. Recently, outbreaks have occurred in Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington State.
“Because of the success of vaccines in preventing disease in our country, parents are often unaware that their children are at risk for so many serious and life-threatening diseases. Parents or guardians should take time to discuss immunizations with their child’s doctor to see if their baby is up-to-date or needs shots,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Since 1994, NIIW has served as a call to action for parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Vaccines also reduce costs associated with missed time from work, doctor visits, and hospitalizations.
Parents are encouraged to get their children up to date on immunizations now before the end of the school year by seeing their doctor or healthcare provider. Anyone without health insurance or a medical home may visit the Orange County Health Department‘s immunization clinic to have their children vaccinated. Vaccinations are free to all children ages 2 months to 18 years. Due to the high demand for immunization services, no appointments are given. Immunization services are provided on a walk-in-basis. Clients are encouraged to arrive early to obtain a walk-in ticket. The Immunization clinic located at 832 West Central Boulevard, Orlando provides immunizations Monday through Friday and is closed the 2nd Friday of each month. The Immunization Clinic opens at 7:30am. For additional information, visit www.orchd.com.