New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 1, 2018

Shereef Elnahal

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

NJ Department of Health Announces Awardees of Childhood Immunization Campaign

Recognizes August National Immunization Awareness Month

To kick off National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), the New Jersey Department of Health today is announcing the winners of the New Jersey Hot Shots for Tots Immunization Campaign pilot.

National Immunization Month serves as a reminder to parents about the importance of getting their children vaccinated to protect against disease,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal. “Children will be returning to school in a few weeks so parents and caregivers should check to make sure their children’s vaccinations are up to date.”

The Commissioner said child care facilities are especially vulnerable to outbreaks of infectious diseases. “Children in these settings can easily spread illnesses to one another due to poor hand washing, not covering their coughs and sneezes, and other factors such as interacting in crowded environments,” said Dr. Elnahal said. “This campaign encourages a collaboration with our immunization partners to help reduce vaccine-preventable diseases among children.”

The Hot Shots campaign is a voluntary incentive program that uses a point system to encourage child care facilities to promote best practices and improve immunization coverage. In its first year, the campaign was piloted in Monmouth County. Each winner will receive a certificate from the Department to acknowledge their work on this important issue.

Participating facilities selected from pre-determined immunization-related activities to earn points toward reaching one of the three award levels: Gold, Silver, or Bronze. The pre-determined activities included attending an annual immunization workshop, participating in the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS), and providing information to parents about childhood immunizations.  

Gold Awardees:  Cambridge Park Preschool, The Goddard School of Hazlet, Holmdel Preschool, Lincroft Center for Children, Little People At Work Inc., Little Tree Preschool, Meridian Early Childhood Education Center, Monmouth Daycare, Red Bank Preschool, St. Ann's Childcare Center 

Silver Awardees:  Eatontown Community Center, Farmingdale School, Give and Take Child Care Center, School Time Learning

Bronze Awardee:  Oceanport Preschool

The Department plans to continue the campaign in Monmouth County this fall and add additional counties as the campaign expands. For more information, visit the Department’s webpage

“In addition to childhood vaccinations, National Immunization Awareness Month reminds us that vaccinations are needed across the lifespan,” Commissioner Elnahal said. “Immunizations are especially important for those who are in close contact with infants, seniors, people with weakened immune systems, and those who cannot be vaccinated because of their age or certain medical conditions.”

The Department, local health departments and other organizations will be hosting events throughout the month to raise awareness about the importance of immunizations.

On Aug. 27, Dr. Elnahal will visit Princeton Adult Day Care Center to talk to clients about the importance of adults getting critical vaccines such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria, hepatitis and whooping cough.

Click here for a list of local immunization events in honor of National Immunization Awareness Month.

Information about vaccines, recommended immunization schedules for all age groups and the Vaccines for Children Program (a federally-funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children of low-income families) can be found at the CDC website.

Follow New Jersey Health Commissioner Elnahal on Twitter.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and Snapchat @njdoh.