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For Release: April 18, 2013 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405.271.5601

Immunize Babies and Toddlers on Time to Prevent Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Young children rely on the adults in their lives to keep them safe and healthy. Those adults include parents and caretakers who should keep a record of their child’s vaccinations and ask at each doctor appointment whether their child is up-to-date on immunizations. And, those adults include doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who should share scientifically-accurate, up-to-date information about vaccines with parents and caretakers.

Vaccine preventable diseases can be especially serious, even life threatening, for infants and young children.  That is why it is so important for babies and toddlers to receive vaccines on time before they are exposed to vaccine preventable diseases. This year during National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) acknowledges the work of county health departments and other healthcare providers across Oklahoma for their work in promoting vaccination of infants and children. The most recent health data for child immunizations in Oklahoma indicates that 77.3 percent of children ages 19 months to 35 months have received all recommended vaccines for their age, compared to the national average of 77 percent.

The OSDH urges parents, health care providers, and public health officials to work together to ensure that all children are fully immunized by remembering that:

  • Vaccines are available for all children including those who do not have health insurance.  All county health departments in Oklahoma offer vaccines for children without health insurance at no charge. 
  • Infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases and need to be vaccinated on time at 2, 4, 6, 12 to 15 months, and 18 months of age to have the best protection.
  • Parents should keep an immunization record for their children, take it with them every time they take their child to the doctor or clinic, and ask their doctor or health care provider whether their child is up-to-date on his or her immunizations.
  • Health care providers should check the immunization status of all the children they see, every time they see them, to make sure they are up-to-date.

For information about child vaccinations visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health Immunization Service website at http://imm.health.ok.gov.

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