The Bell County Public Health District is promoting Infant Immunization Week with events designed to help spread awareness about the importance of immunizations.
On Tuesday, the lobby of the Killeen clinic was decorated with a “Kids Rock” theme, and informational booths were set up at Walmart in Temple and Killeen. Immunizations were available for walk-in patients at the Killeen and Temple clinics.
“We like to bring attention to the vaccines that help prevent diseases,” said Nina M. Cobb, outreach education coordinator for the Bell County Public Health District. “It’s precautions we have to take, it doesn’t matter what age because we receive vaccinations for life.”
Children need a series of vaccinations, starting at birth, to protect them from at least 14 potentially serious diseases, according to the public health district.
National Infant Immunization Week started about two decades ago to help remind people about the importance of immunizations, especially in transient military communities like Killeen, said Kathy Carlisle, immunization coordinator.
“Military kids may sometimes miss their vaccines because of the moves in between and so we have a little more susceptibility.”
Carlisle said families with young children should follow a method called cocooning, where all adults in a household with an infant get immunized.
The public health district also encourages the community to get the flu vaccine, since flu season is just around the corner.
Nurse Lenee Bryant said immunizations stop the spread of disease, especially in children who are in close quarters, such as day cares, schools and other public facilities where they play.
“It eradicates the disease for the most part but with more and more people who travel, it’s still very important that it’s done,” she said.
Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin proclaimed April 20-27 as Infant Immunization Week.