For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Governor Signs Proclamation Declaring April 22-28 as National Infant Immunization Week

Kansas Vaccination Rates Generally Above National Average

TOPEKA, Kan – Governor Sam Brownback declared April 22-28 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). The Governor and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are calling upon Kansans to help promote immunizations for children. Without diligent efforts to maintain the immunization rates in Kansas, vaccine-preventable diseases remain a threat to our children.

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) monitors vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months. The survey describes the 2010 NIS coverage estimates for children born during Jan. 2007-July 2009. Kansas ranked higher than the national average in five categories and was the same as the national average for Hepatitis A. Kansas NIS rankings are:

“It’s important for the health of all Kansans that our vaccination rates remain above average.” said Ryan Burns, Director of the Immunization Program. “Our programs work with healthcare professionals to help keep Kansans safe from vaccine-preventable diseases. These programs include the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines to children who are uninsured or underinsured.”

Other programs promoted by the Kansas Immunization Program include the Dare to Be a Champion campaign and Immunize Win a Prize project. The Dare to Be a Champion campaign is an immunization provider peer-to-peer group that offers immunization awareness and promotes best practices for vaccine delivery. The Immunize Win a Prize project is a statewide immunization incentive program offered to VFC providers to insure children complete their primary immunization series by age 2.

“Vaccines are our best defense against diseases that can be prevented,” said Burns. “The goal of immunizations is not solely to protect those who receive the vaccination, but also to protect vulnerable individuals in the population who are unable to receive immunizations.”

For information about keeping children’s immunizations up to date go to http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/parentInfo.htm. For information about the 2012-2013 School & Child Care Immunization Information go to http://www.kdheks.gov/immunize/schoolInfo.htm.