PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 25, 2024

Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM

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

New Jersey Health Department Highlights Importance of Childhood Vaccination in Recognition of National Infant Immunization Week

TRENTON – With recent increases in cases of preventable diseases across the state and country, such as measles and mumps, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is reminding parents, during National Infant Immunization Week (April 22-29), the importance of protecting infants and children from vaccine-preventable diseases. April 24-30 also marks World Immunization Week which recognizes the lifesaving impact of vaccines worldwide.

Ensuring infants and young children keep up with their well-child appointments and receive their recommended shots by age two is the best way to protect them from 15 serious childhood diseases.

“Making sure children are up to date on all vaccines is the best way to protect them from preventable infectious diseases,” said Health Commissioner Kaitlan Baston, MD. “Vaccines are tested, safe, and effective. They protect against diseases like measles, mumps, RSV and whooping cough.”

Each year, the New Jersey Vaccines for Children program provides approximately 1.6 million doses of vaccines to providers throughout the state. The program, which has helped to boost childhood immunization levels and reduce disparities in coverage, expands access to vaccinations through health care partners to immunize uninsured and underinsured children according to the recommended immunization schedule.  

The COVID-19 pandemic led to disruptions in routine health services including vaccinations for both adults and children. While routine vaccination participation has rebounded, it has been uneven, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pregnant individuals can provide additional protections to newborns by ensuring they are up-to-date on vaccines.  Speak to a health care provider for more information on getting Tdap (for whooping cough), and flu and COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy, which can provide protection for newborns until they are old enough to get their own shots.

Staying up to date with the 2023-2024 COVID-19 shot – which is available to everyone six months and older – will also help to ensure the greatest protections against the virus. The COVID-19 shot is free for most people through the Vaccines for Children Program, most commercial/private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid programs, and the 317/Bridge Access Program.  Vaccination locations can be found at vaccines.gov.

More information on National Infant Immunization Week can be found at: cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niiw/index.html

Additional information about the New Jersey Vaccine Preventable Disease Program is available at: visit nj.gov/health/cd/vpdp.shtml.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on X (formerly Twitter) @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth, Threads @NJDeptofHealth, and LinkedIn /company/njdeptofhealth.

Last Reviewed: 4/25/2024