Michigan families urged to get children caught up on vaccines in recognition of National Infant Immunization Week

Michigan families urged to get children caught up on vaccines in recognition of National Infant Immunization Week

(AMN) – Each year, National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) focuses on the positive impacts of vaccination on the lives of infants and children — and this year it’s a priority to ensure that families stay on track for routine checkups and vaccinations following disruptions from COVID-19.

On-time vaccination is critical to help provide protection against potentially life-threatening diseases. During National Infant Immunization Week, April 24-30, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) urges parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated on time for the best possible protection from serious diseases. 

Now more than ever, it is important to make sure Michiganders, especially children, are caught up on all recommended immunizations. According to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) as of March 2022, only 68.1% of Michigan children, 19 months through 35 months of age, were up to date on recommended vaccines. 

“Now is the time to get our little Michiganders caught up on vaccines and protect them from preventable diseases,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Vaccinating on time according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule is the best protection against serious illness, including measles, hepatitis A, pertussis (whooping cough) and influenza.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused some infants and children to miss or delay routine vaccinations. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released in May 2020 found a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home. As opportunities for in-person learning and play grow, the CDC recommends families check with a health care provider to make sure children are up to date on routinely recommended vaccines. 

NIIW is a yearly observance highlighting the importance of protecting children two years and younger from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. It is part of World Immunization Week (WIW), a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative. During WIW, all six WHO regions promote immunization, advance equity and universal access to vaccination and enable cooperation on cross-border immunization.

NIIW also serves as a reminder about the importance of staying on track and ensuring infants are up to date on recommended vaccines. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children stay on track with their well-child appointments and routine vaccinations. 

Parents should talk to their child’s health care provider about what vaccines their child needs today to stay protected. For more information about vaccines, parents can visit Ivaccinate.org.