West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

National Infant Immunization Week is April 18-25, 2015

4/20/2015

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources joins partners across the country and the world to celebrate national Infant Immunization week, April 18-25, 2015.
“Immunizations are so important for children in West Virginia in light of recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in other states,” DHHR Cabinet Secretary Karen L. Bowling said. “Protecting babies from whooping cough begins before a baby is born, with the mom-to-be receiving a simple Tdap shot in the third trimester.”
Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss time from school because they are under-immunized.
“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health. “They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.”
Giving children the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases.
West Virginia’s current coverage rate of two year olds is seventh lowest in the country. The immunization rate increases dramatically to one of the best in the nation, however, when children receive vaccinations that are required as they begin school.  But the gap means many children are susceptible to diseases such as measles and whooping cough, which can easily be prevented with vaccines.
The West Virginia Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines free to children who are underinsured or whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them.
The 14 serious childhood vaccine-preventable diseases are: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Influenza, Measles, Rotavirus, Haemophilus Influenzae type B, Tetanus (Lockjaw), Mumps, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Pneumococcal Disease, Polio, Rubella (German Measles) and Varicella (Chickenpox).
For more information, please visit www.immunization.wv.gov

Contact Information

For more information contact: Sarah Lieu, Public Information Specialist, Division of Immunization Services, Telephone: (304) 356-4099 or sarah.m.lieu@wv.gov

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