Earlier this year, a Barton County Health Department worker who has helped increase the rate of children’s immunization protection in Barton County was recognized by the Barton County Commission as the recipient of an Employee Recognition. WIC Clerk Pamela Luna was active in the Kansas Immunization Dare To Be A Champion and through her efforts, the county saw an increase in immunization rates from 76 to 80 percent, according to information from the Health Department.
According to information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the program is improve immunization rates around the state. “The goal of Dare to Be a Champion is to increase immunization rates by decreasing missed opportunities and partnering with parents to have their child age appropriately immunized. For this pilot project efforts will be placed on improving rates in children under age 3.”
Well, according to information from the Associated Press, other places are not as successful as Barton County has been.
“More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren’t getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found.
“That growing trend among parents seeking vaccine exemptions has health officials worried about outbreaks of diseases that once were all but stamped out.”
“Reasons for skipping some school shots vary. Some parents are skeptical that vaccines are essential. Others fear vaccines carry their own risks. Some find it easier to check a box opting out than the effort to get the shots and required paperwork schools demand. Still others are ambivalent, believing in older vaccines but questioning newer shots against, say, chickenpox,” the AP report suggested.
But, according to information from the Health Department, there are several reasons that local parents should be concerned about making sure that their children are immunized, including:
• Only immunizations can prevent diseases such as measles, mumps, polio and diphtheria. Some of these diseases can be a serious threat to your child.
• Failure to immunize can lead to new outbreaks of diseases like measles.
• Childhood diseases are serious and can at times be fatal.
This isn’t anything to take lightly.
Out children deserve the best start they can get.
There are programs that help to make immunizations affordable for all children. Contact the Health Department at 793-1902.
Still need a final reason to keep America moving forward in immunizations?
Consider this final quote from a health expert the AP included in its report:
“Polio can come back. China was polio free for two decades, and just this year, they were infected from Pakistan, and there is a big outbreak of polio China now. The same could happen here.”
— Chuck Smith