Illinois state law
requires that children entering day care for the first time be up to
date on required immunizations. Schools must abide by the state law,
and kindergartners and ninth-graders are required to get boosters
before the school year starts.
In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month in
August, the HOPE Mobile will provide information on just who is
required to be immunized, how often and with which vaccines.
Immunization schedules are also available at
Mary Anderson, communicable disease coordinator for the Logan
County Department of Public Health, says a new combined vaccine is
available this year for kindergartners. Called KINRIX, it combines
diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccines, known as DTaP,
with inactivated poliovirus vaccine, or IPV.
Parents who do not wish to have their children immunized are
required to show proof that it is based on a religious objection,
but Anderson says most comply with the law.
"I think parents are realizing the importance of immunizations
and are getting their children vaccinated," she says. "Pertussis
(whooping cough) is still out there. That's why it's important
really to get your child boosted for that."
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Other diseases, while mostly eradicated in the United States, are
still prevalent in other countries and can be spread by
international travelers. Immunization provides full protection for a
large percentage of the population. Vaccinating slows down or stops
outbreaks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The state's deadline for immunizing children is Oct. 15, but
Anderson says to plan ahead.
"Don't wait until the last minute," she says. "Some school
districts are actually requiring the immunizations to be
administered before the first day of school."
The HOPE Mobile is a component of the Healthy Communities
Partnership, a collaborative organization comprised of dozens of
community agencies. It is supported in part by the Abraham Lincoln
[Text from file received from