This week is World Immunization Week and local health officials are urging Michiganders to get their children vaccinated.

The World Health Organization included vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019. Globally, vaccinations prevent 2 to 3 million deaths each year.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week and according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, routine childhood immunizations protect children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases by the age of two.

According to the Associated Press, measles continues to spread in the United States, with 704 cases reported so far this year in 22 states including Michigan.

As of April 17th, Michigan has had 43 cases of measles confirmed, the most cases in a year since 1991.

“Now more than ever, it is important to make sure Michiganders, especially children, are up-to-date on all recommended immunizations,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “Vaccines are safe and effective, and the best way to protect yourself against diseases like measles, hepatitis A, whooping cough and influenza.”

Parents can talk to their child’s healthcare provider about what vaccines their child needs today to stay protected.