DHEC urges vaccinations, celebrates parent advocate during National Infant Immunization Week
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 29, 2019
COLUMBIA, S.C. – It is National Infant Immunization Week, and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is promoting the importance of vaccinations as well as paying tribute to a Greer parent recently recognized for her efforts to educate parents and get children immunized.
Immunization is the best way to protect children and the entire community from vaccine-preventable diseases, and DHEC urges parents to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date.
DHEC’s efforts to protect the public health by increasing vaccine rates to reduce the spread of disease and prevent complications and deaths benefits greatly from the work of advocates such as Kim Nelson, founder of SC Parents for Vaccines.
Nelson has been named the 2019 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Childhood Immunization Champion for South Carolina.
“Through the Childhood Immunization Champion awards, CDC and South Carolina proudly acknowledge Kimberly Nelson’s passion, hard work, and commitment to children’s health and improving vaccination in South Carolina,” said Stephen White, DHEC Immunization program manager.
The CDC recognized Nelson, a parent advocate and mother of two, for her advocacy and education efforts with parents to increase immunizations in South Carolina. “Advocating for children is my life’s passion, and now more than ever they need our voices to help keep our communities safe,” Nelson said.
Nelson was nominated by Martha Edwards, a pediatrician and SC American Academy of Pediatrics’ immunization liaison. “Kim's voice — that of a mom whose single concern is for the health of not only her children, but her children's friends and all South Carolina children — has had a significant impact on the vaccine conversation for many parents across the state of South Carolina,” Dr. Edwards said.
Each year during National Infant Immunization Week, which is April 27 through May 4 this year, CDC and the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) honor health professionals and community leaders from around the country with the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion awards. These awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of those individuals who strive to ensure that children in their communities are fully immunized against 14 preventable diseases before the age of 2.
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization programs in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States.
Talk to your health care provider about what vaccines are recommended, and make sure you keep all immunization and well-child appointments.
Find award profiles for Nelson and other immunization champions at cdc.gov/vaccines/champions.