WOODSTOCK – In observance of National Infant Immunizations Week, Saturday through April 27, the McHenry County Department of Health reminds parents to follow the recommended immunization schedule to protect their infants and children by providing immunity early in life.
Each year, about 170,000 babies are born in Illinois who need to be immunized against 14 diseases before the age of 2.
Even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can be brought into McHenry County, putting unvaccinated children at risk.
One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable disease is the increase in whooping cough (pertussis) cases or outbreaks that were reported in a majority of states in 2012. Today, there are cases in every state, and the country is on track to have the most reported cases since 1959.
McHenry County reported a record number of pertussis cases (299) in 2012, following an ongoing outbreak from 2011 (169 cases).
Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines in preventing diseases, parents may not have heard of some of today’s vaccines or the serious diseases they prevent. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children.
Continued vaccination is necessary to protect not only children but also entire communities by preventing potential outbreaks.
For the 2013 infant immunizations schedule, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html
For information on vaccinations, call the health department at 815-334-4500 or visit www.mcdh.info.