2013 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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August 22, 2013        Print version


Growing Up Healthy, Right From The Start
DCDOH Celebrates National Immunization Awareness Month

Poughkeepsie…“Pregnancy is a great time to plan for your baby’s immunizations, and to make sure you have the vaccines you need to protect yourself and pass protection to your baby during the first few months of life,” said Kari Reiber, MD, Acting Commissioner of Health.  “We know about the importance of car seats, baby gates and other ways to keep them safe, but we often forget to make sure we have the most important protection of all, immunizations.”

Reiber added, “It is critical to a child’s health, for them as well as their parents and family members, to receive immunizations, especially since it they are an important part of their health potential.”

Vaccination provides protection to others who may not be able to be vaccinated due to age or weakened immune systems.  Everyone should be fully immunized so they will be able to prevent the spread of disease to family, friends, and loved ones.

Vaccines are only approved for individuals once they have been through a long and careful review process by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.  While vaccinations, or shots, involve some discomfort, it is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination are very rare. 

“Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago,” said Reiber.  “If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may not have to worry about their children being affected by the diseases of today.”

While most of the diseases that once injured or killed children have been eliminated completely in the United States, there is still a threat to unvaccinated children due to individuals traveling between the United States and countries where these diseases such as measles occurs.

“With the great availability of vaccine in our country, we often forget the suffering of diseases that have been drastically reduced because of vaccinations,” said Reiber.  “Mumps, Measles, Polio, and Chicken pox are no longer a threat to our community’s health, but only so long as we remain diligent in vaccinating our most vulnerable residents, our children.”

Dutchess County Department of Health offers screening and immunization clinics for the uninsured and underinsured as well as referral services for individuals without a regular healthcare provider.  For more information, call (845) 486-3409 or Clinics@dutchessny.gov.  For those without insurance, the federally-funded Vaccines for Children program provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.  To learn more, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/ or ask your child’s healthcare provider.

For more information about vaccine preventable diseases and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit bit.ly/NIAM2013.

 

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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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