Health educators are using National Infant Immunization Week this week to talk about the importance of getting babies vaccinated.
Infants typically receive their first vaccine, which protects against Hepatitis B, at birth. Over the next two years the CDC recommends children receive 24 vaccines to prevent nine serious diseases.
Amanda Thompson is a nursing supervisor at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. She said it’s also important for adults to keep up with vaccines.
“Those infants can’t get a lot of those vaccines until they’re two, four, six months and they’re not fully vaccinated until they’re older,” Thompson said. “It’s really important for parents and grandparents and anyone who’s around children to also be up-to-date on their vaccinations.”
Most vaccines are for diseases that are unommon in the U.S. Things like polio, measles and meningitis.
Thompson said they are rare because most people have been immunized.
“One of the current challenges that we see is educated young parents and community members who have never seen the effects of these devastating diseases,” Thompson said.
She says if people choose not to get the vaccines they weaken the system making more people vulnerable to more disease.
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