News Release

April 3, 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HDHHS schedules National Immunization Week events

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will host a weeklong series of events stressing the importance of childhood immunizations in observance of National Immunization Week, April 13-19.

HDHHS’ Immunization Bureau and the local chapter of the NAACP will visit Third Ward neighborhoods on Friday, April 11, to block walk with information about the protection offered by childhood vaccines. It is recommended that children receive 80 percent of their lifetime vaccinations by age two, ensuring protection against potentially deadly diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, H. influenza type b, varicella (chicken pox) and hepatitis b.

The department will offer free immunizations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12 at Northline Mall, 4400 North Freeway (Interstate 45), during a children’s fair organized by Houston City Council Member Gabriel Vasquez. Other services at the fair will include enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Power Cards from the Houston Public Library, fingerprinting and identification services from the Houston Police Department and information about the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program.

On April 14 HDHHS will recognize private medical providers and public health clinics that exceeded a 90 percent rate of up-to-date immunizations among children in their patient caseloads. HDHHS will unveil its 2003 Immunization Comprehensive Plan to the Greater Houston Alliance for Healthy Communities on April 15 and host an appreciation breakfast for all medical providers in the Vaccines for Children program on April 16 at the Wortham Center.

HDHHS will participate in news conference on April 17 to highlight the milestones achieved by the Houston Harris County Immunization Registry and announce the 5 millionth entry. The Internet-based registry serves as a confidential central storage space containing immunization information on all vaccinated children in the Houston area.

For more information about the activities or immunizations, call 713-794-9267.

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