The director of the local health department is calling a child immunization drive held Monday a succcess.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department recorded 42 visits for immunizations on Monday, when it sponsored Child Health Day to focus on the importance of immunizations for children age 2 and under.
"We were quite busy yesterday giving childhood immunizations," said Kay Kent, health department director. "I think it shows the importance of having child immunizations."
Kent said that although Monday was targeted as a special public awareness day for child immunizations, she said, "every day is Child Health Day here."
THE U.S. public health service targeted 1990 to eliminate measles in the United States through childhood immunizations, as smallpox had been in 1980. Yet in 1990, almost 28,000 cases of measles were reported in the United States, and 89 children died.
Other potentially fatal childhood diseases include pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, and diphtheria.
One of every 200 babies who suffer from pertussis died from it. About one of every 10 people who get diphtheria and three of every 10 who get tetanus die.
Effective childhood vaccines exist for nine childhood diseases.
Children should be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hemophiles influenza type B and hepatitis B through a series of shots beginning as early as birth.
Kansas law requires that children be vaccinated for all of those diseases except for influenza and hepatitis before they enter school. However, the health department urges parents not to wait until their children enter school to vaccinate them because infants and toddlers are at the highest risk for complications from disease.