Left to right, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, Local Health Department Director Tammy Crumley, County Judge Ruben Becerra, Local Health Department Epidemiologist Eric Schneider, ImmTrac Specialists Josie Gonzales and Elsira De Leon, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith. Submitted photo
Commissioners Court proclaims April 27-May 4 as National Infant Immunization Week in Hays County
At its Tuesday meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court encouraged citizens to ensure their children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases by having them immunized according to their age-appropriate schedule.
The Court proclaimed April 27 through May 4 as Infant Immunization Week and noted in the proclamation that it is important to vaccinate children on time to provide the best protection early in life, when babies are vulnerable and before they are likely to be exposed to diseases.
Eric Schneider, local Health Department epidemiologist, told the Court:
“Thanks to the advancements of medicine, there are now 14 debilitating and potentially deadly diseases that can be prevented by vaccines if a child is properly immunized before the age of two.
“National Infant Immunization Week is a week of observance highlighting the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases, and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs that promote healthy communities throughout the United States. When this annual event began in the early 90s, immunization programs were facing significant challenges – the nation was in the midst of a serious measles outbreak and communities across the United State were seeing decreasing immunization rates among children.
“Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Faulty research and social media have led uninformed parents to justify an anti-vaccine movement. As a result, vaccination rates are beginning to dip again, and outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases are on the rise throughout our nation. This is not a coincidence. When more people are vulnerable to a disease due to lack of immunizations, outbreaks can and will occur rapidly.
“Thanks to the success of immunization programs, in 2000 there were zero cases of measles in the United States. So far this year there have been 465 reported cases in 19 states with Texas seeing 15 confirmed cases so far. This virus can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia, inflammation of the brain or even death.”
For families who meet eligibility requirements, programs are available that offer vaccines at reduced or no cost. Contact the Hays County Local Health Department for additional information at 512-393-5520.