STATE—In recognition of National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 24 – May 1, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) supports public health agencies and healthcare providers around the state as they hold special events to promote the critical importance of vaccinating infants and children up to age two against preventable diseases.
“Immunization, one of the most effective public health tools, enables us to save lives and greatly reduce illness and disability,” said Commissioner Alaigh. “Vaccines not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.”
Since 1994, the last week in April has been designated and celebrated nationally as NIIW. National Infant Immunization Week highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.
In New Jersey, approximately 68 percent of children are fully immunized before age 2.
“Immunization is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare providers, and public health officials must work together to raise immunization rates in New Jersey,” said Commissioner Alaigh. “The Department encourages residents to take part in local events that raise vaccine awareness.”
Local health care providers throughout New Jersey have initiated NIIW activities. Activities include extended hours at immunization clinics, mayoral proclamations, leadership awards, public service announcements, provider education events, and community-wide immunization awareness walks.
During NIIW, an annual campaign sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hundreds of communities across the United States will join those in the Western Hemisphere and Europe to celebrate Vaccination Week in the Americas and Immunization Week in Europe. Over 60 countries are expected to participate.
For a list of events being held in honor of National Infant Immunization Week, visit http://nj.gov/health/cd/documents/niiw.pdf
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