The Best Protection Against Serious Childhood Diseases Is Vaccination, Michigan Health Experts Say

Photo by Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

By Kaishi Chhabra

April 27, 2022

It’s National Infant Immunization Week. Is your child up to date on their routine immunizations? 

Need to Know

  • As Michigan observes National Infant Immunization Week, parents are urged to ensure their children stay on track for routine vaccinations.
  • Data shows only 68% of Michigan children are fully vaccinated as of March 2022 because of COVID-19 restrictions that made families stay at home.
  • With a new Omicron subvariant causing COVID cases to rise again, the Michigan Health Department emphasizes the importance of Michigan children getting all recommended shots.

MICHIGAN— When it comes to the health of Michigan’s littlest residents, we can all agree there is no room for compromise. That’s why health experts champion the importance of ensuring infants and children stay up to date on their immunizations, which can prevent dozens of serious health issues.

During the week of April 24 through April 30, the state of Michigan is joining partners across the nation in observing National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), which highlights how effective vaccinations are in keeping families healthy.

After two years in a pandemic where many people stayed home to avoid spreading the virus, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging parents to get back on track with their children’s routine checkups and vaccinations. With a new Omicron subvariant causing an increase in COVID-19 cases, it is important now more than ever to make sure Michiganders, especially children, are caught up on all recommended immunizations. Southeast Michigan is already seeing an increase in cases. 

During the most recent surge, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most children who were hospitalized because of the Omicron variant were unvaccinated.

“Now is the time to get our little Michiganders caught up on vaccines and protect them from preventable diseases,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Vaccinating on time according to the recommended childhood immunization schedule is the best protection against serious illness, including measles, hepatitis A, pertussis (whooping cough) and influenza.”

Public health experts all agree vaccines are safe and effective. As the CDC points out: “Among children born during 1994-2018, vaccination will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 deaths over their lifetimes.”

But only 68% of Michigan children between 19 months through 35 months of age were up to date on recommended vaccines as of March 2022, according to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. 

A 2020 CDC report also found a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccinations due to families nationwide staying at home during the rising cases. 

As a yearly observance, NIIW is also highlighting the importance of protecting children ages two and under from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases, as part of World Immunization Week (WIW), a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s healthcare provider about what vaccines their child needs to stay protected. 

For more information about childhood immunizations, visit here.


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