This story appeared in the Iron Mountain Daily News. Read more here.
Immunization saves millions of lives every year but still there are millions of under-vaccinated people.
Because on-time vaccination is critical to help provide protection against potentially life-threatening diseases,the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services urges parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated for the best possible protection from serious diseases.
According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, as of March 2022 only 68.1% of Michigan children ages 19 months through 35 months were up to date on recommended vaccines.
“Now is the time to get our little Michiganders caught up on vaccines and protect them from preventable diseases,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Vaccinating on time according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule is the best protection against serious illness, including measles, hepatitis A, pertussis (whooping cough) and influenza.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some infants and children to miss or delay routine vaccinations. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released in May 2020 found a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home.
As opportunities for in-person learning and play grow, the CDC recommends families check with a health care provider to make sure children are up to date on routinely recommended vaccines. The diseases that a child is vaccinated against can cause severe complications or even death, regardless of whether they receive the best medical treatment or not.
NIIW is a yearly observance highlighting the importance of protecting children age 2 and younger from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. It is part of World Immunization Week, a World Health Organization initiative. During WIW, all six WHO regions promote immunization, advance equity and universal access to vaccination and enable cooperation on cross-border immunization.
NIIW also serves as a reminder about the importance of staying on track and ensuring infants are up to date on recommended vaccines. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations.
Parents should talk to their child’s health care provider about what vaccines their child needs today to stay protected.
For more information about vaccines, parents can go to Ivaccinate.org.