Health Department Promotes Childhood Immunization
2012-05-01 · By Editor
Disease and disability can be avoided if children are adequately immunized. The City of Long Beach Health Department is promoting childhood immunization by participating in outreach campaigns to educate parents about the safety and importance of infant and toddler immunizations. California’s Toddler Immunization Month in May is an annual opportunity to promote raising and maintaining high immunization levels in children ages 2 years and younger against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
“It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it,” Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal said. “Vaccines have saved millions of lives by protecting people who receive them and the people with whom they come in contact.”
This year’s theme is “Immunizations. On time. Every time.” The goal is to remind parents and caregivers that children need a complete series of vaccinations to be fully protected from debilitating and potentially deadly diseases. Infants who are not immunized, or whose immunizations are delayed, are vulnerable to serious diseases like measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, pneumonia and meningitis.
“The Long Beach Health Department has been providing childhood immunizations for over 100 years, and getting immunizations on time can avoid serious injury and illness,” said Ronald R. Arias, Health Department Director.
Parents are often unaware that children are at risk for so many serious diseases. Low levels of disease in the community means that vaccination programs have been successful. Immunizations are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools of all time. However, certain diseases are on the rise because parents choose to avoid or delay immunizations for their children.
“Parents want the best for their children but those who choose not to immunize are unaware of the high risk that they take by not getting their infants and toddlers the protection they need early and according to the recommended schedules,” said Dr. Mauro Torno, Interim Health Officer of the Long Beach Health Department.
Parents with concerns or questions about vaccines can contact the Health Departments Immunization Project at 562.570.4212, or visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents.
Parents of infants and toddlers who need vaccine but do not have insurance can call the Long Beach Health Department at 562.570.4315 to get low-cost immunizations and referrals for programs to help with finding a local health care provider. For more information about the Health Department’s Immunization Program, log onto www.longbeach.gov/healthand click on “clinics.”