This past Saturday marked the beginning of National Infant Immunization Week, an annual observance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote the benefits of immunizations and to improve the health of children under the age of two.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees that vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. According to TIME, one in five children around the world lack access to immunizations that help keep children in the U.S. Healthy. Every 20 seconds, a child in the developing world dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.
Despite these figures, vaccination remains a controversial subject and parents who choose not to vaccinate do so out of the belief that they are putting their children's health first. But the data points to the contrary. California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have reported rising rates of whooping cough, which public health officials attribute in part to parents opting out of vaccines for themselves and their children. Measles cases in the U.S. are also the highest they've been in 15 years due to the erosion of “herd” immunity, which depends on high rates of vaccination amongst all members in a society.
Celebrate NIIW by learning the latest in immunization news with the following resources:
- Health Guide to Vaccines
- Vaccines: Fact and Fiction
- UN Foundation Launches New Vaccine Campaign
- The End of the Autism/Vaccine Debate?
- Should Pediatricians "Fire" Parents Who Won't Vaccinate?
- Where Celebs Stand on Vaccines
- Study: The Five S's Are Calming for Baby Shots
- Adults Need Vaccines Too
Have your kids been vaccinated? If so, did you follow your pediatrician's recommended schedule, or did you follow a delayed schedule?