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Send Your Kids Back to School with Their Vaccines Up to Date

Jul 22, 2014

Back-to-school season is near and the Peoria City/County Health Department reminds parents it's the perfect time to make sure kids are up-to-date on their vaccines as they also gather school supplies and back packs.

Getting children all of the vaccines recommended by CDC’s immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their children’s health—and that of classmates and the community.  Schools require children to be current on vaccinations to protect the health of all students.

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. "Thanks to vaccines, we have seen decreased illness related to vaccine preventable diseases," said Jean Bellisario, Director of Infectious Disease at Peoria City/County Health Department. "But recent outbreaks across the country show the continued importance of keeping vaccination rates high.  These illnesses can make children very sick, leading to many days of missed school, missed work for parents, and even hospitalization and death.  Vaccines are safe and effective and vaccine preventable diseases are still a threat."

"In the last few years we've seen cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, and chickenpox in Peoria County. We've also seen cases of measles reported in Central Illinois. Without vaccines, these numbers would be much, much higher," Bellisario said. "That’s why kids still need vaccines."

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk of disease and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community—including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Check with your child’s healthcare provider or your health department to find out what vaccines they need this year.

For more information on important Public Health issues, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at

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