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Public Health Officials Stress Importance Of Immunization
August 16, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox As kids head back to class this month, they need to be up to date on all their immunizations.

"It doesn't matter if they're 6 months old or 18 years of age, it's important for all ages to be up to date," public health officer Elizabeth Ayers with the Cabell Huntington Health Department said,

The vaccinations protect them from diseases like measles, chicken pox and whooping cough, which has made a significant comeback in recent years.

"It's out there, and we had some incidences last year that actually involved some school-aged children, so again it's critical that people get vaccinated, especially even parents if they have not had their TDAP (vaccine)," Ayers said.

They recognize some parents have questions and concerns, but Ayers said the benefits certainly outweigh potential risks

"When you look at the numbers, it's so much better to have them vaccinated vs. unvaccinated," Ayers said.

UNICEF estimates immunization prevents two to three million deaths from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and measles each year.

"You look at different countries that don't have the requirements as the United States, and you can see the outbreaks of diseases that happen. So we are just fortunate here that we have strong laws and vaccination requirements," Ayers said.

UNICEF and WHO statistics show about 29 percent of deaths in children under 5e are vaccine preventable.

To make your child's next immunizations easier, visit this link to the CDC for severalideas.

Copyright ©2013 WCHS-TV Eyewitness News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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