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FOR RELEASE: June 25, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
405/271-5601

McDonald’s Joins Health Department’s Efforts to Promote Childhood Immunizations

Many of Oklahoma’s children are needlessly placed at risk of diseases that are preventable through immunizations. Nationally, Oklahoma has the second lowest percentage in the nation for childhood immunizations. Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) statistics reveal that only 71 percent of Oklahoma’s 2-year-olds are up-to-date on their childhood vaccines.

To help solve this problem by promoting the childhood immunizations, McDonald’s is initiating the Immunize for Healthy Lives campaign throughout most of the state. The Immunize for Healthy Lives campaign is a positive example of a corporation partnering with government to improve the health of Oklahomans. Partners in the initiative include OSDH, Oklahoma’s Immunization Coalitions, and local McDonald’s restaurants.

“Our goal is to increase awareness of the importance of childhood immunizations in ensuring a healthier future for children and ultimately, to increase childhood immunization rates in Oklahoma communities,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch.

Beginning on June 28, immunization education materials, immunization schedules and incentives to give to children who get immunized will be sent out to Vaccines for Children Providers (VFC). Educational materials will also be available in more than 90 Oklahoma McDonald’s restaurant locations. Spanish language materials will be available in select locations.

“We are also pleased that the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sandy Garrett, has agreed to endorse this effort to promote the health of our children,” Beitsch added.

All educational materials were created and are endorsed nationally by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of City and County Health Officials and the National Council of La Raza.

For more information on McDonald’s Immunize for Healthy Lives campaign, please contact Emily Voigt at 405/848-6800. For information about immunization schedules or the immunization program, contact the OSDH, your local county health department, or your local health care provider.

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