Immunize Kids Before School; NY Sees 2nd Highest Number Of Measles

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vaac.jpgWith children returning to school, NY State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., is urging all parents to make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date.

“Getting immunized is critical to protecting our families and our communities,” said Commissioner Daines. “Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to these diseases, so it’s important that parents are aware of their children’s immunization requirements and make an appointment for their child with a health care provider if appropriate.”

Dr. Daines said a report on increased measles incidence released last week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the need for ongoing diligence and attention to vaccination. The CDC reported that more measles cases have occurred in the United States since January 2008 than during the same period in any year since 1996.

Of 131 measles cases reported nationwide since January, New York had 27 cases, the second highest number after Illinois, which had 32. New York’s measles cases included 19 children ages 15 and younger. This is a substantial increase from 2007, when a total of eight measles cases were reported in New York for the entire year.

According to the CDC, 91 percent of the measles cases nationwide involved unvaccinated individuals or individuals for whom vaccination status was unknown. Many of New York’s cases involved unvaccinated individuals who were exposed to measles outbreaks while traveling outside the U.S.

“The tremendous success of vaccines in eliminating widespread disease in the U.S. may have spawned public complacency,” Dr. Daines said. “We should not forget that it was not all that many years ago that diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and pertussis (whooping cough) caused much illness and occasionally deaths. These diseases are still active, particularly in countries that lack effective immunization programs.”

State law requires that all children enrolled in schools, day care and pre-kindergarten programs be immunized against measles. The state immunization schedule recommends measles vaccination be administered as part of a measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) combination at ages 12 to 15 months and again at ages 4 to 6 years.

Dr. Daines reported that cases of another vaccine-preventable disease – pertussis — remain at high levels in New York. In 2007, 549 cases of pertussis were reported in New York, 43 percent of which occurred in children ages 19 years and younger.

“Since pertussis is most dangerous in children under age one, who are too young to have completed the full series of immunizations, it is even more important that their older siblings be fully vaccinated so that pertussis is not brought home,” said Dr. Daines.

The state immunization schedule recommends that children be vaccinated against pertussis as part of a diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP) combination at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12-18 months, and 4 to 6 years. In addition, a new state law requires that children 11 years old and entering sixth grade be vaccinated against pertussis.

“The benefits of immunization against measles, pertussis and other diseases are among the most significant public health achievements of our time,” said Dale L. Morse, M.D., Assistant Commissioner of the state health department’s Office of Science and chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “These cases serve as a reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases can and still do occur.”

To improve record-keeping and accessibility of immunization records within the health care system, this year the State Health Department has begun implementing a new electronic statewide Immunization Registry. When fully implemented, health care providers will be able to access any child’s immunization record to be sure that the child’s immunizations are up to date.

(Eli Rowe – YWN Health Desk/Parameds)



4 COMMENTS

  1. There are many in the frum community not doing this Some people suspect a relationship between these shots and autism.Many chassidic people ignore this as well as illegal aliens.Then cases break out and unnecessary illnesses start to spread.

  2. Unfortunately, it is not only the “illegals” who are to blame. There is a fast growing trend in our own community not to vaccinate our children. Many parents today were not around (or were too young at the time) to remember the devastating impacts that these chilhood COMMUNICABLE diseases had on our communities! Please be smart and protect your children. And at the very least do research (and I don’t mean surfing the web) AND consult with a RAV & physician before withholding potentially life-saving immunizations from your innocent children!

    Hashem should guide us all to make the proper decisions!

  3. It is not so simple that Immunizing your children is the ONLY choice. Some diseases are more dangerous than others and every parent deserves the right to choose which vaccinations are right for their children. There IS a risk to vaccinating your child just as there is to NOT vaccinating your child and you must make the correct informed decision for YOUR OWN Family without someone else calling you and idiot or claiming you are irresponsible. In my own family a family member was actually paralyzed from the flu shot look up Guillan-Barre it is a horrible horrible illness from which that family member has still not recovered. Vaccines DO HAVE RISKS and while the autism link has not been proven there is evidence of harm from vaccines which is why the goverment set up a reporting system and a compensation system for those who have been harmed from vaccines. So Yes make an informed decision and be sure you listen to BOTH sides because they both have valid points.
    Hashem should help us all to find the right answers for their families and communities.