African-American baby (224116)
Credit: Image by Chris Thornton from Pixabay

National Infant Immunization Week, sponsored by the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is observed annually to promote the benefits of immunizations and to focus on the importance of immunizing infants against vaccine-preventable diseases by age two. This year NIIW will again be held in conjunction with the Pan-American Health Organization’s Vaccination Week in the Americas, April 22-29, 2017. The U.S. will join together with 39 countries in the Western Hemisphere to concurrently promote the need for routine vaccinations for infants and children during the last week in April.

Since 1994, NIIW has provided an excellent opportunity for local and state health departments, national immunization partners, physicians and health care providers and community leaders from across the country to highlight the positive impact of immunization on the lives of infants and children and to call attention to immunization achievements. The Medical Society of the State of New York supports the CDC as well as the New York State Department of Health in their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of infant immunization and pass along the following key facts about infant immunizations.

Key messages about the importance of infant immunizations:

Immunizations are one of the most important ways parents can protect their children against serious diseases.

Each day, 11,000 babies are born in the United States who will need to be immunized against 14 diseases before age two.

We can now protect children from more vaccine-preventable diseases than ever before. Because we can prevent more diseases, parents are often not aware what it takes to fully immunize a child.

Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases; that is why it is critical that they be protected through immunization.

Immunizations are extremely safe, thanks to advancements in medical research and ongoing review by doctors, researchers and public health officials.

Children are far more likely to be harmed by serious infectious diseases than by immunization.

Parents and caregivers need to take responsibility for their child’s vaccinations. They are encouraged to become informed consumers and keep a record of each immunization visit.

Immunization protects families and communities. Children who are not immunized increase the chance that others will get the disease.

For more information about National Infant Immunization Week, visit the website of the National Immunization Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at

The schedule of recommended vaccines for infants that is endorsed by the CDC, NYS-DOH, MSSNY, the AAP and other physician organizations is available online at