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Vaccinations contribute to disease prevention and play an important role in public health. In fact, infants and children who are immunized (protected from a disease by receiving a vaccine shot) before age two,  are defended against up to 14 preventable diseases for the rest of their lives.

In accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s World Immunization Week (WIW), the United States will observe National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) from April 26 through May 3. NIIW is an important time for sharing resources and learning about the vaccines available to young children, as well as the importance of immunization. Also, there are a number of tools available to health professionals to refresh their knowledge about immunization.

Parents concerned about the safety of vaccinations can find information about how vaccines prevent disease and how they are produced and regulated to help make the best decisions for their child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides explanations of the most common misconceptions surrounding vaccination.

Young children should receive scheduled immunizations to protect them before they are likely to be exposed to specific diseases. Parents should keep this in mind before their child begins school and ensure they have the necessary Massachusetts-requested vaccines before the first day of classes.  If insurance coverage is an issue, the Department of Public Health (DPH) provides a number of vaccines to children regardless of insurance status. If a child is behind schedule for immunizations, however, it is still possible to catch up later.

To help spread the word about vaccines and the importance of immunization, consider reaching out to appropriate media outlets or planning a NIIW event to contribute to the week’s global impact.

We want to know what you’ll be doing for National Infant Immunization Week! Comment below or tweet us at @MassGov.

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