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Awareness Campaign, Website Connects Nevadans to Vaccines Resources

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From Immunize Nevada:

The CDC estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children born in the last 20 years. This week is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs to promote healthy communities. As part of NIIW, Immunize Nevada, along with the Nevada State Immunization Program (NSIP) and the Southern Nevada Immunization and Health Coalition (SNIHC), is launching a statewide awareness campaign about the Nevada Vaccines for Children Program.

“The launch of the Nevada VFC awareness campaign could not be more timely,” said Heidi Parker, Immunize Nevada Executive Director. “According to the CDC, as of April 18, 129 people in the U.S. have been reported to have measles. This demonstrates that vaccine-preventable diseases, do still exist and the dangers are very real. The purpose of the Nevada VFC awareness campaign is to help connect Nevadans with vaccine resources and providers to help keep children’s immunization up-to-date, and to hopefully avoid future outbreaks of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Through a series of public relations, social media and paid media the ultimate “call-to-action” is for parents to visit the Nevada VFC website at www.vfcnevada.org There, multiple resources are available to educate parents about VFC and to connect them to a VFC provider. Although all providers may not be accepting new clients, the intent is to encourage parents to connect with a nearby VFC provider to not only update their children’s immunizations, but to also establish a medical home in their neighborhood.

“According to a parent survey conducted by Immunize Nevada last year, more than 50 percent of respondents were unaware of the VFC program in Nevada. Despite the benefits and impact of the VFC program, we learned that a lot of Nevada families don’t’ know about VFC or how to find a VFC provider,” adds Parker. “We created www.vfcnevada.org to address this issue and to educate parents about this important resource.”

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children in the United States. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the VFC program. For children born during the VFC era, the U.S. immunization program continues to pay enormous benefits.  According to analysis by the CDC, hospitalizations avoided and lives saved through vaccination will save nearly $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.

"Thanks to the VFC program, children in our country are no longer at significant risk from diseases that once killed thousands each year,” adds Karissa Loper, Nevada State Immunization Program Manager. “Current outbreaks of measles in the U.S. and right next door in California, serve as a reminder that diseases are only a plane ride away. Borders can’t stop measles, but vaccination can.”

From Immunize Nevada
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