Immunization continues to be our best defense in the battle against vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunizations prevent acute illness and long-term complications such as hearing loss, liver damage, paralysis and congenital defects that can result from some communicable diseases. Although illnesses such as measles and rubella are not as common today due to vaccines, the microbes have not disappeared. If vaccination levels were to drop, the diseases would re-emerge. Immunization rates for Manchester children have improved significantly. Currently, the vaccination rate for two-year old children in Manchester is at 85% for the 4:3:1 series (DTP/DTaP, Polio and MMR) and 80% for the 4:3:1:3:3 series (DTP/DTaP, Polio, MMR, HIB and Hepatitis B). In Manchester, access to vaccinations has been improved through expansion of clinical services, evening clinics and reminder/recall programs that are cost-effective and demonstrate strong evidence in improving vaccination rates. Coupled with assessments and education within schools, child care agencies and physician practice, the current strategies will assist in achieving an immunization rate of 90% by 2010.
General Influenza recommendations
Flu vaccination is the primary method for preventing influenza and its severe complications. Annual influenza vaccination is now recommended for the following groups:
1. Persons at high risk for influenza-related complications and severe disease, including:
- Children aged 6-59 months
- Pregnant women
- Persons aged >=50 years
- Persons of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
2. Persons who live with or care for persons at high-risk, including:
- Household contacts who have frequent contact with persons at high risk and
who can transmit influenza to those persons at high risk
- Health care workers
Presentations on the importance of immunizations are available for local community agencies and groups, schools and health care providers.
Please call (603) 624-6466 for further information.