Officials Urge Parents to Get Kids Immunizations Up to Date for School Year
LANSING - School is just right around the corner which means officials are reminding parents about getting your child's vaccinations up to date.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring August 2019 as Immunization Awareness Month.
According to the governor's press release vaccines have greatly reduced the prevalence of infectious diseases throughout the united states. Currently, the U.S. Has the safest vaccine supply in history.
However, vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in Michigan, and as of 2017, only 69.9% of children aged 19-35 months were up to date on their recommended vaccines.
HOMTV spoke with nurse and section manager with the Division of Immunizations at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Terri Adams about why it's important to be vaccinated, saying, "Vaccinations help to protect against diseases and we have done a long history with vaccinations. Diseases have almost been eradicated because we've been vaccinating for so many years. But diseases still circulate and schools are a place where diseases can spread easily. So we have requirements in place for kids entering school and we want to protect children in Michigan to make sure that they stay healthy and have a great school year."
Adams also spoke about why parents should change their mind when considering not getting their child vaccinated stating, "We'd like for them to get the facts and one of the best ways to get the facts about vaccinations is by going to our website www.ivaccinate.org." She continues stating, "It's put together to help parents understand vaccines and the safety as well as the importance of vaccines. It's put together by a parent who is a strong advocate for immunizations after having lost a child to a vaccine preventable disease. Her goal is to make sure parents who have concerns about immunizations get the answers. It's scientific answers, it's medical-based answers and it's answers that parents can understand."
Additionally, she gave different tips on locations that you can take your child to, to get them vaccinated which include, "Local health departs are a great place. We have programs if parents can't afford immunizations or don't have insurance. Health departments have programs have programs to help make sure that all kids can get vaccinated. Your pediatrician, community health centers, etc. are great places to get vaccinated," said Adams.
Adams wants parents to know that they should be up to date on their vaccinations as well, "No one should go without vaccines. We have programs to cover everyone including adults so everyone should get vaccinated and be up to date. No one should miss out on vaccines," she said.
Furthermore, Adams wants parents to also be aware that although they aren't required for school, it is recommended and just important that kids get their flu shots this fall as well.
Adams closed with, "Thank you so much for making vaccines a part of back to school. It's an important time of the year and we want all Michiganders to be healthy and vaccinated."
For more information on vaccinations you can go to www.IVaccinate.org to stay up to date.