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The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) April 21-28, 2007.Â Hundreds of communities throughout the United States are expected to participate in NIIW by sponsoring activities emphasizing the importance of timely infant and childhood vaccination.
CDC and HHS will collaborate with state and local health departments, the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on NIIW events across the United States, including events in Nevada; Colorado; Hidalgo County, Texas, and communities along the United States-Mexico border to promote and provide infant vaccinations.
NIIW's continuing theme is "Love them. Protect them. Immunize them."
"We can now protect more children from more vaccine-preventable diseases than ever before," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's NationalCenter for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. "Millions of children have been vaccinated, and millions of cases of disease, disability and death have been prevented."
Every day, 11,000 babies are born in the United States who will need to be immunized against 14 diseases before age two. Despite recent gains in infant immunization coverage, more than 20 percent of the nation's two-year-olds are still not fully immunized against infectious diseases to which they are especially vulnerable.
"The suffering or death from a vaccine-preventable disease is an unnecessary human tragedy," said Schuchat. "Let us renew our efforts to ensure that no child, adolescent or adult will needlessly suffer from a vaccine-preventable disease."
CDC has English and Spanish-language public education campaign materials available to communities, including television public service announcements, posters, print advertisements, informational articles, and educational materials for parents and providers. Additional information about NIIW-VWA and childhood vaccination is available from CDC's NationalCenter for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/events/niiw/default.htm. Information on VWA is available at http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/vw_2007.htm.