ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Health Department recognizes April 19 - 26 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). NIIW is an annual observance to promote the benefits of immunizations and to highlight the importance of immunizing infants against 14 vaccine preventable diseases by the age of two. The theme this year is "Love them, Protect them, Immunize them."
Since 1994, NIIW has served as a call to action for parents, caregivers, and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully immunized. This year, the National Immunization for Polio Prevention in Infants and Toddlers Campaign--or "NIPP - IT"--is being highlighted during NIIW to ensure that all American citizens receive four doses of the injectable, inactivated polio vaccine. NIPP - IT promotes immunization of all children against polio at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months of age, and a booster dose at four years of age.
Nationwide, immunization levels remain high and vaccine preventable diseases are at an all time low. Statewide, Florida's immunization coverage for 2 year olds in 2007 was 83.2 percent. Infant immunization is a safe, simple and inexpensive way to protect children from potentially deadly infectious diseases.
The Alachua County Health Department offers immunizations Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., on a walk in basis at the main site located at 224 SE 24th St., Gainesville. Immunizations can also be obtained from the Alachua and High Springs clinics by appointment. The Alachua Clinic can be reached at 386-462-2542 and the High Springs clinic can be reached at 386-454-2421. Required immunizations are given free of charge at the health department through the 18th birthday. All residents should take time today to review their children(s)' immunization record.
For more information, contact Sherry Windham, Immunization Supervisor at the Alachua County Health Department, at 352-334-7950.