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New York City Seal
Press Release
New York City Department of Health
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Lauren Margulies
Thursday, April 18, 2002
(212) 295-5335/5336 (DOH)


HEALTH COMMISSIONER URGES PARENTS TO IMMUNIZE CHILDREN
AGAINST PREVENTABLE DISEASES

Public-Private Partnership with Radio Disney, WLIB, WBLS, La Mega, and AMOR Promotes Immunization During National Infants Immunization Week, April 14-20


During National Infants Immunization Week, April 14-20, New York City Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, urged parents to ensure that their young children are immunized against serious, vaccine-preventable diseases.

Dr. Frieden said, "Several vaccinations should be administered before a child's second birthday to provide children with simple, safe, and effective protection against many childhood diseases. Free immunizations can be obtained for children regardless of their insurance status at Health Department clinics throughout the City. As vaccines can prevent serious diseases during both childhood and throughout an individual's life, immunizations for children continue to be a top public health priority."

To highlight the importance of childhood vaccinations, DOH, in partnership with Radio Disney, launched a public education immunization campaign. Posters appear on subways and buses, and fliers were inserted in Time-Warner cable television bills and C-Town/Bravo supermarket circulars. Appearing in Spanish and English, these posters promote DOH's 24/7 immunizations numbers, 1-800-325-CHILD (1-800-325-2445) and 1-800-945-NINO (1-800-945-6466) for Spanish speakers.

DOH has also collaborated with local radio stations, including Radio Disney, WLIB, WBLS, La Mega, and AMOR, to increase awareness of childhood immunizations in communities that have lower immunization rates. The radio spots - in English and Spanish - remind parents and caregivers to protect their children against childhood diseases, including: measles, polio, whooping cough, chickenpox, mumps, diphtheria, Hib meningitis, pneumococcal disease, rubella, tetanus, and hepatitis B.

At the close of National Infants Immunization Week on Sunday, April 21, DOH, in partnership with the radio stations, will host a concert at the Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd Street in Manhattan, from 1 to 4 p.m. The concert features Lil' Romeo, Myra, Back II Back, Fulanito, Ziggy Rankin, and Kimberly Scott. For the past month, radio stations at C-town/Bravo supermarkets in all five boroughs distributed free vouchers for the concert to elevate public awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations. Community based organizations and municipal agencies will provide information about children's health at the event.

These outreach and educational events commemorating National Infants Immunization Week have been complemented during the past month by a variety of other DOH activities, including mass mailings to providers, day care facilities and community based organizations, distribution of immunization materials at local businesses and merchants in areas where immunization rates are known to be low, and educational workshops and health fair information at Head Start, community organizations, and day care facilities throughout NYC.

Community Outreach Efforts
In addition to events commemorating National Infants Immunization Week, DOH promotes ongoing community outreach efforts year-round. The Health Department's Immunization Program offers several services, including:

  • Seven Immunization Walk-In Clinics, located throughout the City to provide immunizations free of charge to individuals in need of these and other health services.

  • The Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), a federally-funded program which makes free vaccines available to those physicians who vaccinate children under nineteen years of age who are uninsured, underinsured, or enrolled in Medicaid.

  • The Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR), a central database designed to track the immunization history of each child seven years of age and younger in New York City for providers and parents. Parents of younger children can provide their children's vaccination history if they misplaced child's vaccination card.

  • The Immunization Action Plan, a long-term collaborative effort to promote immunizations among pre-schoolers through public education and the creation of community partnerships.
To find out more about DOH immunization clinic locations, call 1-212-676-2273 or visit the Health Department Web site at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/imm/imm.html.

National Infants Immunization Week is an annual observance initiated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reinforce the need for age-appropriate vaccination of children to prevent serious childhood diseases.

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