HHS Statement Regarding National Infant Immunization Week, April 14-20, 2002
Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently issued a statement on National Infant Immunization Week, April 14-20, 2002. According to Thompson, "Vaccines are one of the most successful tools we have available today to prevent disease and death, reducing the level of most vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 99 percent." In the United States, over 90 percent of children have been given the most important doses of recommended vaccines by the time they are two years old. Nevertheless, almost 1 million children have not been properly immunized against preventable diseases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using National Infant Immunization Week to create awareness among people in the United States about the importance and availability of immunizations for their children. The CDC is also launching a national Spanish-language advertising campaign, which is designed to alert Hispanic parents to the importance of having their children immunized. President Bush's proposed budget for fiscal year 2003 has earmarked $824 million for the CDC's Vaccine for Children Program as well as $631 million for other immunization programs.