Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children born during 1994-2013, vaccination will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over a course of their lifetimes. April 22 – April 29, 2017 the St. Clair County Health Department will observe National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations. Each year, thousands of children become ill from diseases that could have been prevented by basic childhood immunizations. Countless more miss time from day care and school because they are under-immunized. “National Infant Immunization Week provides a valuable opportunity for our community to tell people how important it is for children to be vaccinated,” said Annette Mercatante, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Health Officer. “Childhood vaccinations are one of the best ways for parents to protect their children against vaccine-preventable diseases.” For more information on National Infant Immunization Week or vaccinations, visit www.scchealth.co, ivaccinate.org, orhttp://www.cdc.gov/vaccines. Follow us on social media @scchdmi. Immunizations are available year round at the Health Department’s Main Office for all ages (810) 987-5300 and the Teen Health Center for those 10-21 years of age (810) 987-1311.