In recognition of National Immunizations Month in August, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center is reminding parents of school-age children to add vaccinations to their back-to-school checklist.
“We encourage every parent to not wait until the last minute to get their children caught up on their immunizations,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s interim Executive Director. “Appointments fill quickly in August, so it’s better to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later.”
For the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, all students entering grades 6, 7 and 12 must receive the meningococcal conjugate vaccine. One dose will be administered when the child enters sixth or seventh grade and a second dose will be given when the child enters twelfth grade. The meningococcal conjugate vaccine helps prevent four major types of meningococcal disease.
Students must either show proof of having received the vaccination or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file.
College students also need to be vaccinated against diseases like whooping cough, the flu and HPV (human papilloma virus). Meningococcal vaccines are highly 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. Those who lack a healthcare provider can schedule an appointment at one of the Health Department’s community health centers by calling: (847) 377-8800.
National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is an annual observance held in August to highlight the importance of vaccination for people of all ages. NIAM was established to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on the vaccines recommended for them. Communities have continued to use the month each year to raise awareness about the important role vaccines play in preventing serious, sometimes deadly, diseases.
For more information on immunizations, visit: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/862/Immunizations.
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