National Infant Immunization Week: Protecting Our Littlest Ones

infant receiving vaccine

Every year in April, we celebrate National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), a dedicated time to raise awareness about the importance of protecting infants and young children from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). This year, NIIW runs from April 22nd to 29th, 2024.

Why Vaccines Matter

Vaccines are one of the most successful and cost-effective public health tools we have. They work by exposing the body to a weakened or inactive form of a virus or bacteria, which helps the body develop immunity without getting a full-blown illness. This protects not only the vaccinated child but also those around them, creating a herd immunity effect that benefits the entire community.

Focus on Staying on Track with Vaccinations

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of our lives, including well-child visits and childhood vaccinations. This NIIW, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) want to emphasize the importance of getting your child back on track with their recommended vaccinations.

Getting Back on Schedule

If your child’s vaccinations have been delayed, don’t worry! It’s not too late to catch up. Talk to your doctor about creating a plan to get your child current on their immunizations. Remember, on-time vaccination is critical for protecting against potentially life-threatening diseases like whooping cough (pertussis) and measles.

Access Your Child’s Vaccination Records

Visit the State of Connecticut Immunization Program here.

The CT WiZ Public Portal allows individuals who were vaccinated in Connecticut to access their immunization records, while parents and guardians can also access their minor child’s records.  Check your and/or your child’s immunization record here.

Together, we can ensure that all children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. This NIIW, let’s recommit to staying on track with childhood immunizations.

Flu Update: Nearly 80 New Influenza Cases Reported Last Week (Jan. 20)

78 new influenza cases have been identified in the 11 cities and towns of the Uncas Health District this flu season, according to January 20, 2024, data from the Connecticut Department of Health. This week’s reported numbers bring the flu season total to 347 cases in the district.

Those aged 18-49 years old represent the largest group for positive flu cases, comprising 117 of the 347 total cases reported.  5-17-year-olds and 50-64-year-olds each reported 70 cases, followed by 65+ (57 cases) and 0-4 (33 cases).

It is important to note that influenza cases are only reported if there is a hospitalization or if the positive test comes from a minor.

chart reporting 347 flu cases in the district this season

The colder months bring an increased risk of influenza, but getting vaccinated now can safeguard your health. The flu vaccine is essential for protecting individuals from potentially severe complications, especially for high-risk groups like:

  • People 65 and older
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, asthma)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 5
  • Those caring for or living with high-risk individuals

Flu vaccines are safe, effective, and proven to prevent millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands of deaths annually.

If you haven’t already, prioritize getting vaccinated, especially if you fall into a high-risk group. It’s not too late to protect yourself and others from the flu’s impact.

Vaccination is a proactive step towards a healthier community. Choose prevention and navigate the winter with greater resilience. Let’s work together to minimize the flu’s impact this season.

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