Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: August 4, 2014
DOVER (Aug. 1, 2014) - Immunization gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and sometimes deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. Despite the availability of vaccines for decades, recent outbreaks of measles and pertussis in the U.S. demonstrate that diseases still circulate and every generation needs to be immunized.
To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives - and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need - Delaware's Division of Public Health is joining partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The week of August 3 - 9 will focus on babies from birth through age 2.
"Children who don't receive their recommended vaccines are at risk for illness, and of having a more severe case," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. "Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional to make sure your child is up to date on all the vaccines he or she needs."
There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated:
When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community - including infecting babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.
Immunizations are not just for kids. Regardless of age, we all need immunizations to keep us healthy. With time, immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off and you may be at risk for new and different diseases. As adults, we must continue to maintain our own health because our families and loved ones depend on us to care for them and to teach them how to care for themselves. Immunizations are an important step in preventing illness and staying healthy. Encourage other adults in your family to find out which immunizations they may need to help protect against vaccine-preventable diseases, including influenza.
Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.htmlor visit the State of Delaware's Immunization program website at dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/immunize-children.html . Parents can also contact the Immunization Program at 1-800-282-8672.
A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit delawarerelay.com.
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. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
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.