Infant immunization week in Michigan couldn’t have come at a more critical time.
“This year alone we’ve seen forty-three cases of measles in Michigan and that’s the highest number of measles cases we’ve seen since 1991,” Bob Swanson, MDHHS Division of Immunizations Director said. He said this week was set up to celebrate and promote immunizations.
“It’s so important that all kids be vaccinated to prevent, to keep kids from getting these deadly and very severe diseases,” Swanson said.
That’s why the state has partnered with the “I Vaccinate” campaign, to make sure parents are educated.
“The I vaccinate campaign is here to help Michigan parents get the information they need to protect their kids,” I Vaccinate Spokesperson Andrea Poole said.
One of those parents is Gabrielle Lawrence.
“I honestly didn’t pay much attention to childhood vaccinations until I had a child,” Lawrence said.
She has a 16-month-old son, and for her and her husband, his health is a top priority.
“I have a big problem with people feeling that they can freely walk into public places with kids who very well might be carrying measles viruses or other viruses,” Lawrence said.
Infants can’t receive a measles vaccine until they’re a year old.
“That’s really scary that your kid could be out just with you in a public place and they could be exposed to someone that does not have that immunity,” Lawrence said. She also believes there are a lot of misconceptions about vaccines.
“I really firmly believe that you can be a person of faith and also vaccinate your child. You can’t argue with science and when science is saying here’s a great way to protect your child from a life-threatening illness. I’m not gonna argue with that,” Lawrence said.