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2013 National Infant Immunization Week


BANGOR - April 20th through the 27th marks National Infant Immunization Week.
The annual observance is meant to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Needles, shots, and doctors to some that sounds like a nightmare, but they are just a few of things people have to deal with in order to stay healthy.
"No one likes to give a shot, and that's true of both people receiving them and people having to give them. That being said, it's done with the sense and knowledge that infants are benefiting from these vaccines, that they're being protected. We've seen the incidents of these serious and deadly diseases dropping," Pediatrics Doctor Michael Ross says.
Nearly 36 babies are born each day in the state of Maine. Each will need to be immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two.
Another thing to consider,getting yourself vaccinated, it aides disease prevention for your children.
"The concept of vaccines is that you vaccinate those who can receive the vaccine, and you will protect the many others who for some reasons aren't able to get vaccinated; that's called herd immunity. We want to make sure that we take care of the whole population," Public Health Director of Bangor, Patty Hamilton explains.
Maine currently ranks 36th in the nation for childhood immunizations.
"That is actually a little bit of a decline for us, so we're working hard to try and get the word out to people to get vaccinated, to take responsibility for that, to learn about it," Hamilton says.
For those who do not have health coverage, the state of Maine has programs that will allow your child to receive vaccinations.
"There are programs within Maine that will provide vaccinations for free. There are programs that are state supported that really encourage vaccinations. It's really viewed as a corner stone of pediatric care," Dr. Ross says.
According to the centers for disease control and prevention, routine childhood immunization in one co-hort prevents about 20-million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. All of this is a result of early vaccinations.
Overall doctors want to promote the safety and importance of getting your child vaccinated and to keep on top of scheduled immunizations.

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