NJ childhood vaccination rate is bouncing back after COVID
👶 NJ parents urged to get their kids recommended vaccines
👶The Health Department says the shots prevent illness and save lives
👶 Pregnant women also urged to get a flu shot and Tdap
When the COVID health emergency began, everyone was asked to stay home and many New Jersey infants and children did not get their recommended vaccines for a couple of years.
But with all pandemic restrictions lifted and COVID worries fading, that trend has been reversed.
According to Dr. Meg Fisher, the acting deputy health commissioner, the state has come back almost completely to pre-pandemic levels but there is still room for improvement.
Lots of excuses
She said we know childhood vaccinations save lives and prevent kids from getting sick however some parents may still be reluctant or busy.
In addition to other ongoing efforts to raise awareness and share information with residents about childhood vaccines, the Health Department will be hosting a Facebook Live event at 6:30 p.m. on May 3 for parents and caregivers of children to discuss and answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
A wide range of protection
Fisher said giving babies and infants the recommended vaccinations by age 2 is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, including whooping cough (pertussis) and measles.
“All of the vaccines are licensed they are safe, they’ve been shown to be safe, and they are preventing literally thousands if not millions of diseases," she said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccination of children nationwide born between 1994 and 2021 will:
• Prevent 472 million illnesses (29.8 million hospitalizations)
• Help avoid 1,052,000 deaths
• Save nearly $2.2 trillion in total societal costs.
The Health Department recommends pregnant women should receive the flu shot and Tdap (whooping cough) vaccines during each pregnancy. A dose of Tdap vaccine is recommended during the third trimester (between 27 and 36 weeks) of every pregnancy to help protect babies from whooping cough before they are old enough to get their own whooping cough vaccine at age two months.