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Immunizations Key Right from the Start

Published: 4/13/2016

Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health reminds parents of the importance of immunizing their children right from the start during National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) April 16th-April 23rd.


“Immunizations can protect our children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before the age of two,” said Commissioner Henry M. Kurban, MD, MBA, MPH, FACPM. “In fact, starting children on an immunization schedule right from birth helps protect their families and the community as a whole from the spread of infectious diseases.”

Dr. Kurban shared the importance of family members and caregivers keeping their immunizations up-to-date to protect newborns and infants.

“Pertussis and influenza are two respiratory diseases which can be fatal for newborns,” said Dr. Kurban.  “Pregnant mothers should be vaccinated against pertussis in the third trimester of each pregnancy.  Mothers should also make sure family members, caregivers, and anyone else who may spend time with their baby have all their vaccinations, especially pertussis and influenza.”

The Dutchess County Immunization Program advises parents to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at and offers parents the following tips to help infants with their immunization visits:

  • Come prepared! Learn about what vaccines your child will receive before your visit.  Write down any questions you may have for baby’s healthcare provider.
  • Bring your baby’s immunization record with you to the appointment.
  • Pack a favorite toy and a blanket your baby enjoys to comfort them.
  • Distract and comfort your child by cuddling, singing, or talking softly.
  • Smile and make eye contact with your baby.
  • Hold your baby firmly on your lap.
  • Before you leave, ask your provider what you can expect, what steps you can take to comfort your baby, and any concerns you might have.

“While shots may not be pleasant, they are the best defense we have available against diseases such as measles, mumps, tetanus, and diphtheria,” said Dr. Kurban.  “Many of those reading this today have not had to experience the devastating effects of such diseases, thanks to the proven effectiveness of on-time vaccinations.”

To learn more about what you can do to protect your children against vaccine-preventable diseases, visit us at or contact the Dutchess County Immunization Program at (845) 486-3535 or at