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For Immediate Release: April 20, 2007
Contact: Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286



National Infant Immunization Week Urges Parents to Vaccinate On Time

More Than Twenty Percent of Children Not Fully Protected Against Vaccine-Preventable Disease

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will launch National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) with events April 21-28, 2007. Hundreds of communities throughout the United States are expected to participate in NIIW by sponsoring activities emphasizing the importance of timely infant and childhood vaccination.

CDC and HHS will collaborate with state and local health departments, the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on NIIW events across the United States, including events in Nevada; Colorado; Hidalgo County, Texas, and communities along the United States-Mexico border to promote and provide infant vaccinations.

NIIW's continuing theme is "Love them. Protect them. Immunize them."

"We can now protect more children from more vaccine-preventable diseases than ever before," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. "Millions of children have been vaccinated, and millions of cases of disease, disability and death have been prevented."

Every day, 11,000 babies are born in the United States who will need to be immunized against 14 diseases before age two. Despite recent gains in infant immunization coverage, more than 20 percent of the nation's two-year-olds are still not fully immunized against infectious diseases to which they are especially vulnerable.

"The suffering or death from a vaccine-preventable disease is an unnecessary human tragedy," said Dr. Schuchat. "Let us renew our efforts to ensure that no child, adolescent or adult will needlessly suffer from a vaccine-preventable disease."

CDC has English and Spanish-language public education campaign materials available to communities, including television public service announcements, posters, print advertisements, informational articles, and educational materials for parents and providers. Additional information about NIIW-VWA and childhood vaccination is available from CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/events/niiw/default.htm. Information on VWA is available at http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/vw_2007.htm.

The Department of Health and Human Services' mission is to protect health and give a special helping hand to those who need assistance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing creditable information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations. For more information please visit www.cdc.gov/nip or call 1- 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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