County set for National Infant Immunization Week

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

A little pinprick now could save from illness later. That’s the message now during National Infant Immunization Week.

Lawrence County Health Department Immunization Coordinator Mary Holtzapfel said the purpose of the week is to remind parents of the importance of vaccinating their children against measles, mumps, whooping cough and other childhood diseases that used to kill or seriously affect literally thousands of children each year.

“A lot of people put this in the back of their minds because they don’t see some of these illnesses anymore,” she said.

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Health officials recommend that all children be vaccinated for a series of diseases by the time the child is two years old. Why?

“The younger they are when they contract some of these diseases, the more likely they are to develop complications,”

Holtzapfel said.

Both the Lawrence County Health Department and Ironton Health Department offer free or reduced price vaccinations, depending on family income, during monthly clinics. The county health department has walk-in clinics

from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the main office in Ironton and from 1-3 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the WIC office in Chesapeake.

“Parents should be aware that cost should never be an issue for them in obtaining vaccinations,” Holtzapfel said.

The health department also offers a program called Maximizing Office-Based Immunization (MOBI) to health professionals to brief them on immunization standards, record keeping and other issues pertaining to childhood immunizations.