Nation Infant Immunization Week is from April 24 to 30 this year. The NJDEP joins local healthcare organizations to get children up to date with their vaccinations.
The New Jersey Department of Health reported that childhood immunizations have decreased during the pandemic.
As a part of the National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), from April 24-30, families with infant children are encouraged, by the NJDOH and CDC, to keep their children up to date with all vaccinations.
The NJDOH will attempt to raise awareness for and facilitate access to vaccines on behalf of the residents of New Jersey. The CDC recommends all families vaccinate their infant children as soon as possible, and that everyone 5-years and older receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
“COVID-19 has caused many disruptions in families’ lives – and in some cases, it has meant that children have missed or delayed their wellness checkups and vaccinations, which are a critical part of ensuring children stay healthy,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “In addition to routine childhood vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 5 years and older receive COVID-19 vaccination. Getting your child vaccinated helps to protect your child and your family, including siblings who are not eligible for vaccination and family members who may be at risk of getting very sick if infected.”
NJDOH encourages providers, public health professionals, and individuals to participate in NIIW by talking about the importance of childhood immunization with families and through their websites and social media channels using the hashtag #ivax2protect.
“The NJDOH will continue to facilitate access to vaccines on behalf of residents and raise awareness about the importance of vaccinating children against serious diseases.” – NJDOH NIIW
According to the NJDOH and CDC, protecting children through vaccination begins before birth.
The NJDOH and CDC recommend:
“Pregnant women should receive the flu shot and Tdap (whooping cough) vaccines during each pregnancy.
Pregnant women should get a dose of Tdap vaccine during the third trimester between 27 and 36 weeks, preferably during the earlier part of this period.
This will help protect babies from whooping cough until they can receive their first whooping cough vaccine at two months.
People who are pregnant should also stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, including getting a COVID-19 booster shot when recommended to get one. Data show that completing a two-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series during pregnancy can help protect babies younger than 6 months old from hospitalization due to COVID-19.”
Most parents chose to vaccinate their children, according to NJDOH.
Giving babies the recommended vaccinations by age two is said to be the best way to protect young children from 14 serious childhood diseases, including whooping cough and measles.
“Through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, NJDOH provides vaccines to partners to immunize uninsured and underinsured children according to the recommended immunization schedule. Each year, the New Jersey VFC program provides about 1.6 million doses of vaccines to providers throughout the state. This has contributed directly to a substantial increase in childhood immunization coverage levels and a reduction in disparities in vaccination coverage among young children.” – NJDOH, NIIW
Throughout the year, NJDOH promotes childhood immunization. One example is the Hot Shots for Tots Immunization Campaign, a voluntary point-based incentive program for child care and preschool facilities to help promote best practices for increasing childhood vaccination rates in NJ child care and preschools. This program is in its fourth year.