IMMUNIZATIONS: HHS Launches Spanish-Language Campaign
HHS Secretary Donna Shalala kicked off a public awareness campaign Tuesday to raise immunization rates for Hispanic children. The Spanish-language campaign, which coincides with National Infant Immunization Week, features print, radio and television announcements that encourage Hispanic parents to have their children immunized by age two. According to HHS, nearly 900,000 children under age two have not yet been immunized, and minority children lag behind white children in overall immunization rates: while 79% of white children receive the full series of vaccinations by age two, only 73% of African-American children and 72% of Hispanic children are fully immunized by the same age. In an effort to reach President Clinton's goal of eliminating the disparities by 2010, Shalala said "we must break down barriers that prevent out children from being immunized on time. This new public awareness campaign will help to spread this critical message to the Hispanic community." The theme of the campaign, "Vacunelo A Tiempo ... Todo el Tiempo," or "Vaccinate on time, every time," spearheads the nationwide effort to distribute culturally relevant educational materials, Shalala said. District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams (D) joined Shalala at Tuesday's announcement. According to the CDC, the district's immunization rate of 76% trails the national average of 78% (HHS release, 4/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.