Despite changes to school year, vaccinations still important says IDPH

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

information provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 5, 2020) – Although school will look different this year because of COVID-19—whether it’s remote learning, classroom learning, or a hybrid—kids should still receive their routine vaccinations. Vaccines help protect children from diseases like chickenpox and pertussis, which remain common in the U.S.

“While much of our focus is on COVID-19 these days, we must continue to take care of all of our health needs,” said Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Vaccines are one of the safest and most effective methods to protect children from more than a dozen vaccine-preventable diseases. Make sure your children are fully vaccinated so they can be as healthy as possible while facing the ongoing risk of COVID-19.”

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IDPH is teaming up with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) on a social media campaign that will raise awareness of the importance of vaccines.

The immunization requirements for the 2020-2021 school year are the same as last year. The requirements can be found on the IDPH website under immunizations.

Vaccines are not just for kids, however. During National Immunization Awareness Month, IDPH is asking everyone to check their vaccination history and talk with their healthcare provider. Adults should get a flu vaccine each year and receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) every 10 years. Tdap is also recommended for pregnant women during each pregnancy. Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines, although one year apart.

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Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations. Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A and B) based on age, pregnancy status, occupation, travel, medical and vaccination history, and/or other considerations.

For more information about immunizations, including vaccination schedules for infants, children, teens, and adults, visit www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/immunization.

Adults can also take a vaccine quiz to see what vaccines are recommended at www2.cdc.gov/nip/adultimmsched/.

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