Children’s Hospitals in Texas Emphasize Importance of Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month
As recently reported in the news, whooping cough is making a significant resurgence in Texas. In all of 2011, there were 961 reported cases statewide. Through April of this year, there have been more than 424 cases reported statewide.
This is one of the many examples of the importance of immunizations for children. As the beginning of the school year nears, the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) and its member hospitals are emphasizing the importance of childhood vaccinations during National Immunization Awareness Month in August.
Immunizations that protect children against the dangers of vaccine-preventable diseases are one of the great successes of the public health systems in Texas. Death and disability from diseases like smallpox, polio, mumps and whooping cough have been dramatically reduced because of immunizations. For example, prior to the availability of vaccines, more than 500,000 people died each year from measles. Today, that number is almost zero.
“This success requires continuing efforts to maintain high immunization rates among children,” Bryan Sperry, president of CHAT, said.” The Children’s Hospital Association of Texas and our member hospitals actively support funding and strong state laws to improve childhood immunization rates.”
“Immunization is one of the single most important steps parents can take to help assure their children grow up to be strong and healthy. We prevent millions of cases of disease and thousands of deaths in children each year through immunization,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC′s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said.
For a schedule of immunizations, school requirements and where to receive immunizations, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/default.shtm.
Many of these immunizations are available free of charge to Medicaid- and CHIP-eligible and underinsured families and children through the Texas Vaccines for Children program. For more information, visit http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/tvfc/default.shtm.
About the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas
The mission of the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas (CHAT) is to support the development of an effective, comprehensive, high-quality and appropriately funded children’s healthcare delivery system in Texas. Since 1989, CHAT has worked to advance its goals and public policy objectives in cooperation with other trade associations, advocacy groups, state agencies and the Texas Legislature. www.childhealthtx.org
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