On Thursday, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) marked the 20th anniversary of Immunize Georgia, an annual conference dedicated to promoting the life-saving practice of vaccination.
Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, public health professionals and others from all over the state come to the conference each year to learn the latest immunization science and help promote vaccinations to Georgians of all ages.
Patrick O’Neal, M.D., DPH’s director of health protection, called immunization one of the cornerstones of public health.
“In Georgia, we recognize that one of the most important and effective strategies of public health is immunization,” O’Neal said. “We have good evidence that if we can overcome challenges and improve our immunization rates, we can do major things that improve health for our residents.”
Vaccines protect people all over the world from dozens of preventable diseases, such as whooping cough, influenza, measles and human papillomavirus (HPV). Some diseases, like polio and small pox, have been nearly eradicated as the result of vaccination efforts.
This year, Immunize Georgia attendees heard featured lectures on meningococcal vaccinations and presentations from leaders in the field of vaccination science, such as Walt Orenstein, M.D., professor of medicine, global health and pediatrics at Emory University, Paul Offit, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Donna Weaver from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For more information on immunizations in Georgia, visit DPH’s website.