Immunizations can protect community health

Each year, numerous vaccine-preventable illnesses are reported in Illinois. Certain diseases, such as measles, are making a comeback as some parents choose to either delay or decline vaccinations for their children. In observance of National Infant Immunizations Week, April 26 to May 3, the DeKalb County Health Department is reminding parents to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect their infants and children by providing immunity early in life.

“Babies need to visit a doctor or clinic for vaccinations at least five times by the age of 2 for protection against serious childhood diseases,” Public Health Administrator Jane Lux said. “Immunizations not only provide individual protection to each child, but protect the health of the entire community.”

The DeKalb County Health Department’s Immunizations Program vaccinates adults and children against a wide variety of diseases. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. Last year the program provided more than 6,700 vaccinations to babies up to 2 years of age and more than 2,600 vaccinations to adults.

In 2013, the DeKalb County Health Department’s Communicable Disease program investigated 18 cases of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Diseases that vaccines protect against include chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcus, and influenza.

For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 815-748-2460 for children or 815-748-2467 for adults.

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