April 20-27th is National Infant Immunization Week.  Great strides have been made here and around the world to fight disease and keep children healthy.  However, there's still more to be done.  According to the CDC, a child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could've been prevented by a vaccine.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Did you know that through immunization, here in America we can now protect babies and children from fourteen vaccine preventable diseases before the age of two?

Some diseases, which were thought to be a thing of the past, are not.  For example, in 2012 there were more than fifty reported cases of measles in the US.  The CDC reported more than 41,000 cases of whooping cough in 2012, including 18 deaths.  Unfortunately, most of those who died were babies under the age of one.  That's the highest number of whooping cough cases in any one year in America since 1955.

One of the goals of National Infant Immunization Week  is to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of children getting vaccinated from birth.  Think of this week as a reminder to make those childhood immunization appointments and keep them.  Establish good communication between yourself and your child's doctor.

For parents who can't afford to pay for their child's vaccinations, call 800-CDC-4636 to find a facilty that offers immunizations through the Vaccines for Children program.  Read more about the importance of vaccines for children and adults.