Contact: Kelly Vence


Public Information Office



ELIZABETH, NJ—April 19, 2013 —Mayor J. Christian Bollwage and the Department of Health and Human Services will kickoff National Immunization Week on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Peterstown Community Center.

“We offer this immunization program to our residents because it is important that our youth be protected from preventable diseases; it can save their life,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “ We are very lucky to be able to offer this free service, as many countries still face obstacles in getting these life-saving vaccines to children who need them."

National Immunization Week (NIIW), which runs April 20th – 27th, is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants and children from vaccine-preventable diseases. This week also celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

“It is important that parents and guardians know the benefits of these vaccinations to ensure their child is protected,” said Krishna H. Garlic, Director of Health and Human Services. “We urge parents to take full advantage of our program or to speak with their pediatrician or healthcare provider to make sure their infant is up to date on their vaccinations."

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tool available for preventing disease and death. In 2012 alone, the United States saw an increase in the number of whooping cough cases, which resulted in 18 deaths. The majority of these fatalities were among infants younger than 3 months of age.

“According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the United States has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history,” said Eileen Kelly, City of Elizabeth Public Health Nurse. “Vaccines are given to children after careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals.”

This service is offered to Elizabeth residents (I.D. required) with children who are two months to eighteen years old at the Peterstown Community Center, located at 418 -434 Palmer Street, on the following dates and times:

Saturday, April 20th                 Monday, April 22nd                       Tuesday, April 23rd                  Wednesday, April 24th

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.        9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.          12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.         9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.


In addition to Immunization Week, government and local organizations are joining together to prevent brain injuries. This new safety initiative is a collaborative effort launched by Safe Kids Union County at Children’s Specialized Hospital, in collaboration with Elizabeth’s Public Health Nurses, the Union County Freeholders, Union County Traffic Safety Officers and Traffic Safety Coordinator, AAA, Westfield Regional Board of Health and the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ.

The “B Hard Headed” campaign encourages all residents to wear a “hard hat” when biking, roller skating, inline skating, or riding a scooter. Free hard hats will be available to those in need at the immunization site.

“This campaign highlights prevention and positive action. So many of us are joining together to show that injury prevention can be effective,” said Susan Driscoll, Community Educator and Coordinator of Safe Kids Union County at Children’s Specialized Hospital. “We are doing this for the residents of Union County.  Let’s work together to put a lid on one of the causes of brain injury.”

To find out more about Immunization Week or the “B Hard Headed” campaign, please call the Elizabeth Health Department at 908- 820 - 4250.