2014 News Releases

Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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August 1, 2014        Print version

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

Dutchess County Department of Health celebrates National Immunization Awareness Month in August and begins by stressing the importance of vaccinations right from the start.
“The moment a woman becomes pregnant, there are many things she needs to consider regarding her health and her baby’s health,” said Kari Reiber, MD, Commissioner of Health.  “Pregnancy is the perfect time to take steps, such as planning for your baby’s immunizations and getting the ones you need.  Much of a baby’s initial protection for diseases is passed through to the baby from the mother.” 
Dr. Reiber noted often a baby cannot be vaccinated until they are older for certain diseases, stressing the importance of ensuring those who have close contact are up to date on their immunizations such as flu and pertussis. 
“It is critical for parents and family members to receive immunizations on time, too,” said Reiber.  “Influenza and pertussis are two life threatening diseases for children, especially those too young to be vaccinated.  By getting your vaccine, you essentially provide a “cocoon” of protection be preventing the disease from coming into contact with the child.” 
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.
“Many diseases which caused severe disabilities or death, now have been reduced and eliminated because of the consistent use of vaccines,” said Reiber.  “Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, due to contact with unvaccinated individuals.” 
While many of 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 diseases such as measles occurs.
“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,” added Reiber.
Families who need help paying for childhood vaccines should ask their healthcare provider about the Vaccines for Children program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children who do not otherwise have access to immunization.  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/
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) 486-3535 or Clinics@dutchessny.gov or visit DutchessNY.gov


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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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