Health districts across the state are gearing up for their annual observance
of National Infant Immunization Week
, the outreach initiative
designed to protect infants from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases such as
measles and pertussis.
Efforts range from office displays and PSAs, to local newspaper features,
health fairs or a combination of several endeavors.
In addition to various advertisements, Columbus Health District, will offer
immunizations April 24 through 27 and April 30 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the
Columbus Department of Public Health, 2100 Comer Ave. in Columbus. Free
hearing, vision and dental exams also will be offered for children ages 4 to
The district includes Chattahoochee, Clay, Crisp, Dooly, Harris, Macon,
Marion, Muscogee, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor
and Webster counties.
"The other counties do something too, but not to this magnitude because
they're much smaller," said Dianne Robinson, Columbus Health District
Robinson said the outreach is also an effort to ensure children are properly
vaccinated before starting pre-K or kindergarten.
They are partnering with Safe Kids to provide car seats, helmets and other
Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness will participate in a full
day of inservice for day care owners/managers April 26. Juliet Cooper,
director of nursing, and Georgia Goseer, district immunization coordinator,
will facilitate. They'll also provide lunch for attendees.
"We want to make them aware of what we need for day care audits," Goseer
Judy McChargue, district immunization coordinator for the North Central
Health District, said she is working on securing donations of stuffed
animals in each county to distribute to children who come in for
immunizations. Jennifer Jones, the district's public information officer, is
utilizing social media and local publications to get the word out, McChargue
"I have been successful in Houston County and we have more than enough
donations to offer every child that comes in that week a toy," McChargue
It is important to vaccinate children on time, according to the childhood
immunization schedule, to provide the best protection early in life, when
babies are vulnerable and before they are likely to be exposed to diseases.
The efforts taking place across the state of Georgia demonstrate the
importance of immunizations to Public Health.
-Story by Nicole Price, DPH Communications