did you know.....

that this week (April 23-30) is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)??? Well it is!

Bet you didn't even know there was such a week

Well the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the United States will join about 100 other nations world-wide in events that educate and encourage immunization. I have written about immunizations here before, and would like to continue to urge my readers to make certain that your children are appropriately immunized against preventable communicable diseases.

This would be a good time to review your child's immunization record and make sure to call your child's primary care provider to "catch up" on any that may have been missed. While immunizations are important throughout life, it is critical that children under the age of 2 years receive all the immunizations they require. The youngest children are most at risk for serious complications of contagious diseases.

If  in doubt about what your child may need, call the doctor's office, or check with the health department to see what your child needs when, or check out the AAP's website developed for parents (healthy children.org--or click the link on the sidebar), and specifically the information on immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases.

Recent Comments

I wrote this post on April 23, Saturday, but apparently I forgot to push the "publish" button although I did share it with my facebook and linked in connections. Well, I just published it now, and was happy to see the Sarah Bruyn Jones piece in the Roanoke Times on immunizations (http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/284340). Although it concentrates on the recent issues with the Pertussis scare in Floyd, it also mentions the intent of the CDC to see all children in the US immunized against 14 preventable diseases before the age of 6 years.
I fully understand parents not wishing to expose their children to potential harm by having them vaccinated, and I understand the sense that it might be better to obtain "natural" immunity by getting the actual disease. But no parent today is going to be happy to see their child get sick and possibly die from a disease that was (and is) preventable. there is so much sadness and so much guilt in parents I have personally seen go through the tragedy of a child being devastated or killed by a vaccine-preventable bacterial or viral disease, that it just breaks my heart to watch, and sometimes to not be able to intervene to stop the organism from going wild in a young child's or infant's body.
Please be thinking about that too, as you make your decision whether or not to have your child immunized. Most parents in the US have never had to watch a loved one be devastated or killed by polio, smallpox, tetanus, meningococcemia, h. influenzae type b, pertussis, diptheria or measles. We can thank medical science and vaccine technology for that.
Folks who have done mission work in other countries can attest to the horrible deaths sometimes caused by organisms such as tetanus. No amount of "good hygiene" or avoidance of sick people can prevent someone from getting tetanus if injured and unimmunized. It causes a very painful and difficult to treat constellation of symptoms that often lead to death.
I wish all my readers a happy and health Easter, and don't wish to focus on negative or depressing issues. I just ask that you please think of your child's future before you say "no" to immunizations forever.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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