News from President Toni Preckwinkle

August Marks National Immunization Awareness Month

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month
Whether you are packing your child’s first backpack with school supplies for Kindergarten or loading up their trunk for freshman year at college – there is no better time than now to get your children’s vaccinations up to date.

“As parents we do everything we can to keep our children safe and healthy, protecting them from vaccine preventable diseases should be no different,” said CCDPH interim chief operating officer, Sandra Martell, RN, DNP. “Many young parents have not witnessed the devastating impact of vaccine preventable diseases. A child without the immunity that comes from being vaccinated is more likely to contract a communicable disease such as pertussis or measles and put others at risk of becoming infected.”

New Illinois Department of Public Health rules require students entering sixth and ninth grades this school year show proof of receiving the Tdap vaccine booster shot for continued protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. This newly required Tdap booster will help protect students and those around them, including infants, who are too young to be fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in infants younger than 1 year of age who get pertussis, more than half will be hospitalized and of those hospitalized, 1 in 5 will get pneumonia. For infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated, a pertussis infection may be fatal.

Millions of cases of life threatening diseases including: measles, small pox and polio have been prevented because of the availability of safe and effective childhood vaccines. Call your healthcare provider to make an appointment to get your child’s vaccinations current.

For a copy of the vaccine schedules for children and for more information, please click here for the Cook County Department of Public Health immunization resources page.

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