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Wed April 4, 2012


DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department is reminding parents about the importance of infant vaccinations during National Infant Immunization Week in April.

Parents want to do what is best for their children. They know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep their children safe. But, they may not know that one of the best ways to protect their children is to make sure they have all of their vaccinations.

The Health Department offers these five important reasons to vaccinate your child:

Immunizations can save your child's life. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once harmed children are now extinct. Polio, once America's most-feared disease, has been eliminated.

Vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort, but serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare.

Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Unfortunately, some babies are too young to be completely vaccinated and some people may not be able to receive certain vaccinations due to severe allergies, weakened immune systems from conditions like leukemia, or other reasons. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children are fully immunized. 

Immunizations can save your family time and money. A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or daycare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll. In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance.

Immunization protects future generations. Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States.

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