As children start heading back to school, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is reminding parents to include immunizations on their back-to-school checklists, whether their children are heading for elementary school, high school or college.
"Summer can be a busy time but it is important to make vaccination a priority," said Tony Beltran, the Health Department's Executive Director. "Schools are a key place where students can be exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases. School-aged children can further spread disease to their families and others with whom they come in contact. Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives."
Vaccine preventable diseases continue to be present in Lake County. For example, thus far this year, six cases of mumps, 27 cases of chickenpox, 35 cases of pertussis, and 50 cases of hepatitis B have been reported.
Following is a table of Illinois' recent immunization requirements:
Students entering, transferring or advancing into kindergarten through 12th grade must show proof of two doses of mumps and two doses of rubella vaccine
Students entering, transferring or advancing into kindergarten, 6th or 9th grades must show proof of receipt of two doses of varicella vaccine
All students attending sixth through 12th grades must show proof of receipt of a Tdap booster
College students also need shots. Even healthy young adults need to get vaccinated against diseases like the flu, whooping cough and HPV (human papilloma virus). Meningococcal vaccine is recommended for students who will be living in dorms. Students may need other vaccines depending on factors such as their childhood vaccination history, travel plans and their personal health status and risks. Parents should consult with the healthcare providers of their children to determine their individual needs.
For more information on immunizations, visit: http://health.lakecountyil.gov/Population/Pages/Immunizations.aspx