Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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April 23, 2013

Importance of immunizations stressed

Children, infants and adults urged to review records

Corsicana — National Infant Immunization Week is April 20-27, and serves to put a spotlight on the importance of protecting infants from diseases and illnesses for which there are vaccines.

Vaccines are a cost-effective and highly successful tool in the public health district’s arsenal. Not only do vaccines protect individuals, but also the community at large from the spread of infectious diseases.

“Immunization is a shared responsibility,” said Emily Carroll, director of nursing for the Corsicana/Navarro County Health Department. “Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community.”

Many parents choose the safe, proven protection of vaccines, and giving babies the recommended shots by age 2 protects them from 14 serious childhood diseases, like whopping cough and measles. Parents should check with their children’s physician to make sure all immunizations are up to date.

Since so many diseases have been all but eliminated by successful vaccines, parents may not have even heard of all the diseases these immunizations prevent. They can be especially dangerous for infants and children. It is very important to maintain the vaccination schedule outlined for little ones, in order to protect them from dangerous illnesses early in life.

“Even when diseases are rare in the United States, they can be brought into the country, putting unvaccinated children at risk,” Carroll said. “One example of this is the outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) reported in the majority of states in the U.S. There are cases in every state, and the country is on track to have the most reported cases since 1959.”

As of Nov. 16, 2012, more than 35,000 cases had been reported in the United States, and 16 deaths. The majority of those deaths were infants younger than three months. Parents need to be particularly vigilant in keeping their children’s vaccinations on schedule.

“All adults should receive a TDAP which is a vaccine with tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis in it,” she said. “If you have babies or you are a grandparent it is recommended. Adult’s immunity wanes over time and everyone around little ones need a booster.”  

The Corsicana-Navarro Health District gives immunizations every Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Call (903) 874-6731 for more information about vaccines.

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