MDOH Offers Free Immunizations for ChildrenBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 22 Apr 2013 04:03pm |
Photo courtesy of smchealth.org
Mississippi leads the nation when it comes to immunizing 2 and 3 year olds. This week free immunizations are being offered for children up to age 18 by the Mississippi Department of Health and they say the goal is to save lives.
Immunization week is part of an ongoing effort to make sure Mississippi children are protected from vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis and pneumonia. State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs also points to the growing concern over pertussis, a respiratory disease also known as whooping cough.
"We had 77 cases of pertussis last year, we had one infant die of pertussis so these are still real public health threats that are out there," says Dobbs. "In other states, they're have thousands and thousands of cases of pertussis cases every year, and we wanto to make sure that those sorts of things don' happen."
Some parents have expressed concerns that immunizations could be unhealthy for their children. But Dobbs says there should be equal concerned with the risk of not being vaccinated.
"Some of the risks that have been worried about have been disproven, but we know that these illnesses are out there, and we have the constant threat of measles re-importation, we had a mumps case last year, so these are still real issues," continues Dobbs.
The free vaccines are available at local health departments across the state.
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