Notice to Readers: National Infant Immunization Week --- April 22--29, 2006
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The week of April 22--29, 2006 is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) and Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA). During this week, hundreds of communities throughout the United States are expected to participate in NIIW-VWA by sponsoring activities emphasizing the importance of timely infant and childhood vaccination.
Immunization is one of the most effective ways to protect infants and children from potentially serious diseases. Because of increased emphasis on vaccination, the majority of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased in incidence by approximately 99% from peak prevaccine levels in the United States (1). In 2005, CDC announced the elimination of rubella virus in the United States (1). Measles is no longer endemic in the United States (1). The number of measles cases in the Western Hemisphere has been reduced by more than 99%, from approximately 250,000 cases in 1990 to 75 cases in 2005 (2).
In 2005, a total of 62 cases of measles, one case of wild poliovirus, and no cases of diphtheria were reported in the United States (3). Approximately 11,000 infants are born each day in the United States; according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule, they require approximately 24 doses of vaccine (18--19 injections using combination vaccines) before age 2 years to protect them from 13 vaccine-preventable diseases (4).
Arizona, Utah, and communities along the United States--Mexico border will host kick-off events highlighting the need to achieve and maintain high childhood vaccination coverage rates, including provider education activities, media events, and immunization clinics in collaboration with CDC, state and local health departments, the United States--Mexico Border Health Commission, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
NIIW is being held in conjunction with VWA. VWA, sponsored by PAHO, targets children and other vulnerable and underserved populations with low vaccination coverage rates in all countries in the Western Hemisphere during this annual campaign.
During NIIW-VWA, CDC will introduce a new Spanish-language public education campaign, including television and radio public service announcements, posters, and print advertisements. Additional information about NIIW-VWA and childhood vaccination is available from CDC's National Immunization Program at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/events/niiw/default.htm. Information on VWA is available at http://www.paho.org/English/DD/PIN/vw_2006.htm.
- CDC. Achievements in public health, 1900--1999 impact of vaccines universally recommended for children---United States, 1990--1998. MMWR 1999;48:243--8.
- Pan American Health Organization. Measles and rubella surveillance in the Americas. Measles / Rubella Weekly Bulletin 2005;11:1--2. Available at http://www.paho.org/english/ad/fch/im/sme1152.pdf.
- CDC. Summary of provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, cumulative, week ending December 31, 2005 (52nd week). MMWR 2006;54:1320--30.
- CDC. Recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule---United States, 2006. MMWR 2006;54:Q1--Q4.
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