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National Immunization Week Highlights Need for Vaccinations

In an effort to draw attention to the need to maintain a high rate of vaccination in this country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared this week (April 20-27) National Infant Immunization Week. National Infant Immunization Week

According to the CDC, vaccinations against childhood disease have been one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the century. And even though many of these illnesses may seem a thing of the past, they still exist and vaccines are more important than ever. Importance of Immunizing Children

Yet despite the success rate of vaccines, the debate over how to best keep kids from contracting preventable diseases continues, with the anti-vaccination movement purporting that the shots cause diseases like autism.

Debunking these claims, a recent study by CDC researchers found no connection between the number of vaccines a youngster has received and his or her risk of autism, and also revealed that even though children are getting more vaccines than ever, those vaccines contain fewer of the substances that provoke an immune response. Vaccines Not Linked to Autism

The study offers a response to vaccine skeptics who have suggested that getting too many vaccines on one day or in the first two years of life may lead to autism, says Frank DeStefano, director of the Immunization Safety Office of the CDC and a lead researcher on the project. Vaccine Safety

The DeStefano’s study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics last month, “amidst reports that increasing numbers of parents are delaying or skipping childhood inoculations, fearing side effects of the risk of autism and other learning disabilities.” New Study Finds No Autism Link

According to the CDC, the benefits certainly outweigh the risks. A recent economic analysis indicates that vaccinating each child born in the United States in a given year with the current childhood immunization schedule could prevent approximately 42,000 deaths and 20 million cases of disease. 10 Public Health Achievements