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Notice to Readers: National Infant Immunization Week --- April 13--19, 2003

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 13--19, 2003; this year's theme is "Love Them. Protect Them. Immunize Them." This week emphasizes the importance of timely infant and childhood vaccination. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect children, especially infants and young children, from potentially serious diseases. Because of increased vaccination efforts in the United States, incidences of the majority of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased approximately 99% from peak pre-vaccine levels (1). In 2002, a total of 37 measles cases, one diphtheria case, and no wild poliovirus cases were reported (2,3). Approximately 11,000 babies are born each day in the United States; they need approximately 20 doses of vaccine before age 2 years to protect them from 11 vaccine-preventable diseases (4). Although vaccination coverage levels are high for children of preschool-age, approximately 1 million children aged 2 years are missing >1 recommended vaccine doses (5).

During NIIW, states and communities will sponsor activities designed to highlight the need to achieve and maintain high childhood vaccination coverage rates. In addition, CDC will launch a new television public service announcement in English and Spanish and a Spanish-language immunization education booklet. Additional information about NIIW and childhood vaccinations is available from CDC's National Immunization Program at http://www.cdc.gov/nip or the National Immunization Information Hotline, telephone 800-232-2522 (English) or 800-232-0233 (Spanish).

References

  1. CDC. Achievements in public health, 1900--1999: Impact of vaccines universally recommended for children---United States, 1990--1998. MMWR 1999;48:243--8.
  2. CDC. Table I. Summary of provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, cumulative, week ending December 28, 2002 (52nd week). MMWR 2003;51:1165.
  3. CDC. Table II. Provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, weeks ending December 28, 2002, and December 29, 2002 (52nd week). MMWR 2003;51:1166--74.
  4. CDC. Recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule---United States, 2003. MMWR 2003;52:Q1--Q4.
  5. CDC. National, state, and urban area vaccination coverage levels among children aged 19--35 months---United States, 2001. MMWR 2002;51:664--6.



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