Though some students could start learning remotely due to the coronavirus, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued a reminder Tuesday of the importance of receiving vaccinations for a variety of diseases.
IDPH reminded that vaccines help protect children from diseases such as chickenpox and pertussis, which remain common in the U.S.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of IDPH, said the state's main focus continues to be on the coronavirus, but other health issues must be addressed.
“Vaccines are one of the safest and most effective methods to protect children from more than a dozen vaccine-preventable diseases," Ezike said. "Make sure your children are fully vaccinated so they can be as healthy as possible while facing the ongoing risk of COVID-19.”
IDPH announced the department is teaming up with the Illinois Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics to promote a social media campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of vaccines and doctor's visits.
“Missing well-visits and vaccines place children at higher risk for more problems in the future," Mariana Glusman, previous president of Illinois APP, said. "Especially during the onset of COVID-19, vaccines are the best way to keep children protected and healthy."
IDPH reminded that immunization requirements for the upcoming school year remain the same as last year, as found on the department's website.
Though children typically receive their vaccinations prior to school starting, IDPH advised people of all ages to ensure they are up to date on immunizations.
Officials said adults should get a flu vaccine every year and a Td booster vaccine or Tdap immunization every 10 years. IDPH explained that 'Td' refers to tetanus and diphtheria, as 'Tdap' refers to tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
The Tdap vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women during each pregnancy, according to health officials.
IDPH reminded adults ages 50 and older to receive the shingles vaccine, and adults ages 65 and older to receive both pneumococcal vaccines one year apart.