HHS officials highlight safety and effectiveness of vaccines and National Infant Immunization Week

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 27 to May 4, 2019. In a statement, HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted that while NIIW "is an opportunity to celebrate lifesaving vaccines that protect our children ...

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is April 27 to May 4, 2019. In a statement, HHS Secretary Alex Azar noted that while NIIW "is an opportunity to celebrate lifesaving vaccines that protect our children ... because we are seeing significant outbreaks of measles across the country, it is also a more important opportunity than ever to remind Americans: Vaccinations are safe and have been proven time and again to be effective." He said that while the United States has come a long way in fighting infectious diseases, there is a risk of backsliding, which could put our families, neighbors, and communities needlessly at risk. "This National Infant Immunization Week, all Americans should check to make sure that they and their loved ones are up to date with the CDC's recommended vaccine schedule, which provides guidelines for Americans of all ages and with specific health conditions." CDC Director Robert Redfield also stressed that "vaccines are safe. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccine-preventable diseases are dangerous." He noted that while most parents vaccinate their children to protect them from disease, "CDC is working to reach the small percentage of vaccine-hesitant individuals so they too understand the importance of vaccines. It is imperative that we correct misinformation and reassure fearful parents so they protect their children from illnesses with long-lasting health impacts." Also adding their voices in support of vaccines are FDA Acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless, Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.