RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital of Union County held a symposium in late October on children’s vaccines entitled “Understanding Pediatric & Adolescent Immunizations.” The event, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with the Union County’s Immunization Center was attended by over 150 Union County school and health department nurses. The main focus was on the reality that there is nothing more effective in public health than the act of vaccinating children against those diseases that are preventable. Also stressed were the changes that have been implemented in the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) 2010 immunization schedule.
The featured speaker, Geralyn Prosswimmer, MD, FAAP, is a Board Certified Pediatrician, Fellow in The American Academy of Pediatrics as well as Medical Director of Hunterdon Pediatric Associates. She is active on the staff at Hunterdon Medical Center and has been a participant in clinical research and management.
The doctor spoke on the misconceptions that combination vaccines will weaken a child’s immune system. She also made mention that the fear that exists among some members of the public that there is a dangerous level of mercury in vaccines is totally without merit. “As a matter of fact, the vaccine for flu contains less mercury than a tuna fish sandwich. For those who fear an allergic reaction to the presence of egg in the vaccine there is less egg in the vaccine than in a piece of birthday cake”, stated Dr. Prosswimmer. “Waiting to immunize a child is folly. Vaccines are no more or less safe in an older child versus a younger one.”
Finally, the doctor acknowledged “Immunization Initiative 2010.” This is a program that supports efforts to have at least 90 per cent of New Jersey’s children (from birth through age 18) timely and appropriately vaccinated against all recommended preventable diseases.
“Vaccinations are a cost effective method in the prevention of many infectious diseases,” stated Mohamed S. Jalloh, Union County Freeholder, and liaison to the RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital Board of Managers.
The Union County Immunization Center provides free immunizations through our Federal Government’s Vaccines For Children program to Union County children up to age 19 who qualify. Every year, thousands of Union County children are immunized at the center. The children are immunized against 16 different communicable diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, German Measles, polio, meningitis, influenza, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, chicken pox, pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenzae type b, rotavirus (a type of stomach virus), and human papillomavirus, a leading cause of cervical cancer. The center is located at 342 Westminster Avenue in Elizabeth. Hours are generally Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM -3:30 PM. For more information call 908 965-2734.
Ms. Joan Wheeler, MSN, RN, LNHA (L), Acting Administrator of RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital welcomes Dr. Geralynn Prosswimmer, MD, FAAP, guest speaker at the RUNNELLS Specialized Hospital Fall Symposium on “Understanding Pediatric & Adolescent Immunizations.”