“Vaccinating your infant is the best way to protect them from serious illnesses like whooping cough and measles,” said Paulding County Health Department nurse manager Teresa Knight. “We urge parents to speak with their pediatrician or healthcare provider at every visit to make sure their infant is up-to-date on vaccinations.”
The health department at 451 Jimmy Campbell Pkwy., Dallas, is open Monday through Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“We accept Medicaid, cash and debit and credit cards for payment for immunizations,” Knight said.
According to the most recent data available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Survey, Georgia immunization rates for Tdap were below the national average, ranking them 39th compared to other states. Similar to national trends, the number of pertussis cases in Georgia decreased in 2013 with 269 pertussis cases reported to DPH compared to the 330 cases reported in 2012.
Of the 269 cases reported, 54 — 20.1 percent — were hospitalized and of these 54, 42 were infants less than 1 year old. Georgia saw one pertussis-related infant death reported in 2013.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the weeklong observance established to remind parents and caregivers how important it is to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases through immunization. It is a call to action for parents, caregivers and healthcare providers to ensure that infants are fully vaccinated against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Vaccines for Children Program. The program helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them, and helps many more children have a better opportunity of getting their vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. The program contributed directly to a substantial increase in childhood immunization coverage levels nationally and made a significant contribution to the elimination of disparities in vaccination coverage among young children.
According to the CDC, the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. Vaccines are given to children only after long and careful review by scientists, doctors and health care professionals.
The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for most children. Vaccination is the best way to protect others you care about from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Information: (770) 443-7881 or visit http://dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section.