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The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization in recognizing April 25 – May 2, 2022 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). The focus is on the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Through immunization, we can protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Vaccination is a shared responsibility. Families, healthcare professionals, and public health officials must work together to help protect the entire community. Public and private medical providers are an essential link to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and can take steps in protecting children in their practices by making COVID-19 vaccine available during all patient visits. VPDs are only preventable when vaccines are administered.
Immunization saves millions of lives every year but, still, there are more than 19 million under-vaccinated people. COVID-19 has caused many disruptions in families’ lives – and in some cases, it has meant that children have missed or delayed their wellness checkups and vaccination, which are a critical part of ensuring children stay healthy. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations. It’s not to early for parents to make sure their children are current with vaccinations before the start of childcare or school.
Most health plans are required to cover recommended vaccines at all ages without charging a deductible or copayment. Any child without coverage should be able to get vaccinations without a financial burden. Parents can contact their health care provider or local public health department for information about the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), which provides free vaccines to eligible kids. For more information, please visit www.GetImmunizedCA.org.