A nonprofit group made up of public health directors and leaders across the region looks to raise awareness about the importance of childhood vaccines.
“Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death,” according to the Western New York Public Health Alliance. The alliance stresses immunizing children, in particular, against vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Thanks to the development of safe and effective vaccines, immunization has been one of the most successful and safest public health measures available to populations worldwide, with an unparalleled record of disease reduction and prevention,” alliance members said in a recent media release. “Our nation’s scientifically based vaccine safety system – which is managed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and monitored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – carefully studies, evaluates and monitors vaccine safety and efficacy. Yet, despite the success and strong safety record of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy has been increasing.”
This has created an environment in which vaccine-preventable diseases including measles, mumps and pertussis (whooping cough) are on the rise.
“Before age 2, all infants can and should be vaccinated against 14 preventable childhood diseases like whooping cough and measles,” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County public health director and co-chair of the alliance. “Immunization is a shared responsibility and together, we can help protect our babies and the entire community by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases.”
To find out what vaccines your child needs and when, ask your health care provider, visit the state Department of Health website at health.ny.gov or call your local health department. Additional information is available at cdc.gov/vaccines/parents or by phone at 800-232-4636.