Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Highlights National Infant Immunization Week

​This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County recognizes April 21 through 28, 2018, as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), an annual observance promoting the benefits of immunizations for children from birth to two years old. NIIW also celebrates the milestones achieved in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases among infants worldwide as a result of immunization.

“As one of the core services provided by the Florida Department of Health, immunizations significantly reduce many preventable diseases in the community,” stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. “The National Infant Immunization Week is a time to reflect on the invaluable need of immunizations and the importance of keeping our children healthy from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

NIIW is a call to action for parents, caregivers, and health care providers to ensure that all children are protected from birth against 14 serious childhood illnesses. It is important that parents and health care providers work together to follow the recommended Advisory Committee on Immunizations (ACIP) schedule to protect infants and children by providing immunity early in life before they encounter potentially life-threatening diseases.

The department is committed to increasing the rate of immunization among Florida’s children under two years of age. Recently, the department worked with a diverse group of public and private partners to update the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Over the next five years, the department and partners will work to increase access to immunizations for infants and pregnant women and increase access to vaccine-preventable diseases in children and teens.

To learn more about the department’s immunization-related goals, visit the SHIP website.

For the 2017 calendar year, the Alachua County Health Department had a 97% immunization coverage rate for children ages 0-35 months. The national goal is 90%, and the state goal is 95%.

For more information, contact Michael Smith 352-334-8827 or Michael.Smith@flhealth.gov.

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