Immunization contest will offer trip for family to Disney World

March 03, 1998|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County Council last night voted to enlist the help of Mickey Mouse to help ensure that youngsters receive their immunizations on time.

The council gave its approval for a contest in which parents who have their children fully immunized by 18 months can be eligible to win a trip to Walt Disney World and other Florida attractions.

Officials hope publicity about the prize will increase immunizations for hepatitis, diphtheria and other childhood diseases from from 62 percent to more than 80 percent for children younger than age 2.

State officials say the immunization rate for school-age children is nearly 100 percent. But health officials fear that vulnerable younger children might not be protected.

The contest prizes -- $5,269 in hotel, food, air travel and Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World tickets -- are being donated by the businesses involved.

County Councilman Louis L. DePazzo, a Dundalk Democrat, cast the sole vote against the contest, saying he opposed giving businesses tax breaks and publicity for what parents should be doing anyway.

"I don't know of any better reward than a healthy child," he said.

In other action, the council approved:

The purchase of 16 acres on Forge View Road for playing fields and other recreational use in the 3,000-acre planned community of Honeygo. The $601,400 purchase is part of a larger quest for 142 acres of parkland in the planned development.

A proposal that the county spend $112,175 for an updated environmental assessment of three parcels of Bethlehem Steel Corp. land that the county wants to develop.

Pub Date: 3/03/98

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