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April 17, 2006

County Health Department Reminds Parents to Check Kids’ Immunization Records

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Oswego County Health Department will observe National Infant Immunization Week April 23 through 29.

“Immunizations are one of the most important ways that parents can protect their children against serious diseases,” said Kathleen Smith, Director of Public Health. “Although immunization coverage among children in the United States is the highest ever recorded for most vaccines, one million of our nation’s children are still not fully immunized.”

The Oswego County Health Department holds immunization clinics every Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Nick Sterio Public Health Clinic, 70 Bunner St. in Oswego, and the first and third Friday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. at the H. Douglas Barclay Courthouse, Pulaski.

Babies need to be immunized against 12 diseases before they reach age two; however, more than 20 percent of the nation’s two-year-olds are still missing one or more of the recommended immunizations.

“Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to infectious disease,” said Smith. “It is critical that they are protected through immunization. Vaccinating your children in the first 24 months of life is important to protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases that still exist in our community.”

For example, said Smith, although measles is no longer circulating in the United States, the virus is frequently imported from other countries. Between 1989 and 1991, the United States was hit with an epidemic that resulted in 55,000 cases of measles, 11,000 hospitalizations, and more than 120 deaths.

For more information on childhood immunizations, contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.state.ny.us

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