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Event Promotes Child Immunizations

If you want to catch folks? attention, have them climb into an iron lung. It?s not something people quickly forget.

?We?re able to bring this around for immunization awareness,? said Amy Gamett with Eastern Idaho Public Health.

Gamett showed the iron lung as part of the Shot Smarts Immunization Conference in Idaho Falls. The event coincided with National Infant Immunization Week.

The iron lung, or negative pressure ventilator, was used when many Americans suffered from polio before the vaccination for that disease was available.

For Gamett, the immunization issue is personal.

?I live here. I want to see rates go up and diseases go down,? she said.

That was the goal all around at Tuesday?s conference, especially since the Gem State is consistently in the bottom 10 states for immunizations.

Plus there?s the cost and confusion that come with immunizations.

That?s why Dr. Melinda Wharton of the Centers for Disease Control was at the conference ? to help health care professionals, school and child care workers get informed.

?Making a decision not to vaccinate is not a risk-free decision,? said Wharton. ?You?re leaving your child vulnerable (to that which) could otherwise be prevented. As a parent, that?s not a decision I would want to make.”

“I think it?s our job as a community,” Gamett said. “We should protect our community by protecting ourselves and our kids.?

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