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National Infant Immunization Week Highlights the Importance of Childhood Vaccines

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 26 to May 3. This annual observance highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities.

It’’s easy to think of many diseases as something from the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can—and do—still get sick from vaccine-preventable diseases. Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 diseases before age two. Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the United States.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of NIIW. Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities, and public health.

Routine childhood immunization in one birth cohort prevents about 20 million cases of disease and about 42,000 deaths. It also saves about $13.5 billion in direct costs.

Giving your baby the safe, proven protection of the recommended immunizations by age two is the best way to protect him or her from 14 serious diseases, like measles and whooping cough.

Parents can learn more about vaccines here.