The Madison County Health Department is observing National Infant Immunization Week starting Monday with a reminder that because their immune systems are not fully developed, infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases but that the recommended immunizations by age 2 protects children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough.
The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended before a newborn child leaves the hospital, and prevents 70-95 percent of transmission to infants born to women who tested positive for hepatitis B. It also prevents household transmission. The measles vaccine should be given by age 1. Unvaccinated children can not only get the disease but spread it to other children too young to be vaccinated and to older people with weakened immune systems, such as those with cancer or who have received a transplant.
For more information on vaccines, see www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html.