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National Infant Immunization Week

April 23-29, 1994, has been designated National Infant Immunization Week. This week also will inaugurate the Childhood Immunization Initiative (1), a comprehensive effort to ensure that children aged 0-2 years are fully vaccinated. The theme of the initiative, "Immunize on Time, Your Baby's Counting on You," emphasizes the need for parents to know their child's vaccination status and promotes adherence to the vaccination schedule. Public service announcements, produced in English and Spanish with information for contacting state health departments, are designed to increase awareness about age-appropriate vaccination (comprising approximately five visits to a health-care provider by the second birthday). Health-care providers are encouraged to use every opportunity to ensure children in their care are up-to-date with their vaccinations (2,3).

State and local events will encourage cooperation between health-care providers and parents to ensure that children receive all recommended vaccinations by their second birthday. Local programs are encouraged to participate in National Infant Immunization Week by tailoring activities to fit their communities' needs.

Nationwide toll-free information services will refer parents without vaccination providers to vaccination services nearest them. The English-language number (800) 232-2522 and Spanish-language number (800) 232-0233 are for general audiences; health-care providers can call (800) 232-7468 to obtain information about current guidelines by facsimile or mail. Additional information about childhood vaccination is available from state immunization programs or CDC's National Immunization Program, Mailstop E-06, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30333.

References

  1. CDC. Reported vaccine-preventable diseases -- United States, 1993, and the Childhood Immunization Initiative. MMWR 1994;43:57-60.

  2. Orenstein WA, Atkinson W, Mason D, Bernier RH. Barriers to vaccinating preschool children. J Health Care Poor Underserved 1990;1:315-30.

  3. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. The measles epidemic: the problems, barriers, and recommendations. JAMA 1991;266:1547-52.



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