Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Carl Kanefsky, Communications Director
(302) 540-4979, Pager
Date: March 31, 2010
Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Infants are especially vulnerable. Because it is so important to protect them through immunization, the Division of Public Health (DPH), in partnership with the Immunization Coalition of Delaware (ICD), urges Delaware parents and healthcare providers to work together to improve immunization rates and join in recognizing the month of April as Infant Immunization Month.
Immunization is a shared responsibility that protects the vaccinated individual as well as entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Delaware will mark its observance throughout the month of April with a variety of activities.
The ICD, DPH and the Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition will collaborate with other partners to sponsor a series of walks at five different locations across Sussex County on April 17. It will also collaborate with Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in New Castle County on April 10 to encourage young women to get immunized against pertussis before pregnancy as protection for themselves and their newborn. The resurgence of pertussis will be addressed with providers in New Castle County later in the month, and additional immunization messages will be disseminated throughout April.
Infant Immunization Month celebrates the achievements of medical providers in the community who have maintained high immunization rates preventing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases. It also serves as a reminder that the maintenance of these high rates remains an ongoing effort; each year, nearly 12,000 babies are born in Delaware who will need to be immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two. Delaware currently ranks 39 in the nation for children 19-35 months who are fully immunized.
This year's national observance for Infant Immunizations is from April 24-May 1, 2010.
For more information about infant immunizations contact the Immunization Program at 800-282-8672 or visit www.dhss.delaware.gov/dph
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.