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Announcements: National Infant Immunization Week --- April 23--30, 2011

CDC observes the 17th annual National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) during April 23--30, 2011. Local and state health departments, national immunization partners, health-care professionals, and community leaders from across the country will collaborate to highlight the achievements and benefits of immunization through community-wide activities and events, including grand rounds and educational training for health-care professionals and parents, media briefings, and immunization clinics.

NIIW is now part of a broad global initiative that is held in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization's (PAHO) Vaccination Week in the Americas. Ten border states have partnered with PAHO and the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission to bring additional focus to infant immunization in the U.S.-Mexico border region. In addition, the World Health Organization's European, Eastern Mediterranean, and African regions also are observing simultaneous immunization weeks. In all, approximately 100 countries are expected to participate in the week-long campaign to call attention to the critical role that vaccination plays in safeguarding public health globally.

Currently, in the United States, CDC recommends that children aged ≤2 years receive vaccines to protect against 14 diseases (1). In September 2010, CDC announced that childhood immunization rates for vaccines routinely recommended for children remain at or near record highs (2). Parental acceptance of routine childhood immunization is essential because high vaccination coverage results in decreased rates of vaccine-preventable diseases. Results from a recent survey of U.S. parents with children aged <6 years show that a majority of parents are confident or very confident in vaccine safety (79.0%) and believe that vaccines are important to children's health (79.8%) (3). This same survey showed that health-care providers are parents' most important source of information for making decisions regarding vaccination (81.7%). To help facilitate communication between health-care providers and parents about vaccines, vaccine safety, and vaccine-preventable diseases, CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians have developed a series of educational materials called Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents (available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/conversations). These resources will be a focus of this week's NIIW educational efforts. Additional information about NIIW is available at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw.

References

  1. CDC. Recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0 through 18 years---United States, 2011. MMWR 2011;60(5).
  2. CDC. National, state, and local area vaccination coverage among children aged 19--35 months---United States, 2009. MMWR 2010;59:1171--7.
  3. Kennedy A, Basket M, Sheedy K. Vaccine attitudes, concerns, and information sources reported by parents of young children: results from the 2009 HealthStyles survey. Pediatrics 2011;127(Suppl 3):S1--8.

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