In a move to make prevention a priority, health leaders in Mississippi are offering a rare incentive to get kids a shot in the arm, and it's free.
Who doesn't like the word 'free', and once you combine it with the word 'health' a lot of ears perk up.
That's just what the Department of Health is doing, hoping to grab the attention of parents while stressing the importance of getting their kids vaccinated.
The pain of getting a shot, is now gone at least the financial part of it.
"This is an opportunity for parents to take advantage at this time,"said Dr. Paul Byers, State Epidemiologist.
To help recognize National Infant Immunization Week the Mississippi Department of Health is injecting free routine vaccinations across Mississippi for infants all the way up to 18 year olds.
"It can be the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, polio vaccine," Dr. Byers said.
State Epidemiologist Doctor Paul Byers says it's a vital opportunity coming on the heels of a National Immunization Survey which ranks Mississippi as number one in the country when it comes to immunizations of children 19 to 35 months of age.
That's a ranking Byers says Mississippi should not only be proud of, but stay at the top of.
"This is a great achievement for us," Dr. Byers said. "It's shared by our clinic nurses and our district office staff who've put in the hard work, the time and the effort to make sure that kids are up to date on their immunizations."
Byers says vaccines are proven to reduce the number of deadly disease cases and just about wipe out others.
While free may be a great incentive to roll up your sleeve, Dr. Byers says you can't put a price on health.
"It's important for parents to understand the reason why we do vaccinations and that's not just to bring your child to get a stick in the arm, but it's to provide that protection that they're going to need to prevent infections in them," Dr. Byers said.
Anyone who wants to take advantage of the free vaccinations can simply go to any county health department and remember you have to do it this week.
This does not mean this is the only week vaccinations will be offered, they will still be available, but will come with a financial cost.
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