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If You Want to Stay Healthy: Get All Your Vaccinations!

Summary: 
If you have questions about vaccines, talk to your health care professional. And listen to my friend, Elmo!

Like many kids, I grew up watching Sesame Street. So, imagine my excitement when I finally got to meet Elmo! I have to tell you that Elmo created quite a sensation around my office when he came to visit us at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services a few weeks ago. He was a rock star! I explained to him that, as Surgeon General, it is my job to help everyone stay healthy. Specifically, Elmo and I talked about the importance of vaccines and making sure that all children are protected from easily preventable diseases. Elmo wanted to know how he could help. So, I told Elmo that the best things he could do are to get all his vaccinations on time and to get his friends at Sesame Street to do the same. Elmo volunteered to make two Public Service Announcements with me to tell his friends about the importance of getting vaccinated. Check out this 30-second ad we made together.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools we have for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but they also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Among children in the U.S. born between 1994 and 2013, routine vaccinations will prevent an estimated 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes.

So if you have questions about vaccines, talk to your health care professional. And listen to my friend, Elmo – get vaccinated!

National Infant Immunization Week is April 18-25, 2015 ─ a great time to start a discussion about vaccines. Learn more at www.vaccines.gov.

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