Back-to-School Immunizations: The Time is Now!

Back-to-School Immunizations: The Time is Now!

Ensure your child or teen is prepared for a healthy start as a new school year begins.

Why protect our children from vaccine-preventable illnesses?

Back-to-school immunizations are an important part of preparing your child for the next school year.

As a parent, you always strive to do what’s best for your children. You use age-appropriate car seats, child-proof your home, set boundaries, and look for ways to keep them safe from harm. Back-to-school vaccinations, from birth to age 18, are another part of that effort.

According to the World Health Organization, immunizations prevent between 2-3 million deaths worldwide every year.

Why is summer the best time for back-to-school immunizations?

In addition to our regular immunization clinics, the Moultrie County Health Department (MCHD) will conduct Back-to-School Immunization Clinics during July and August.

Ultimately, the MCHD encourages all parents to get their student’s vaccinations as soon as possible before school begins. Here's why:

Avoid the last-minute rush:
Waiting until after school starts can lead to longer wait times and difficulty securing appointments. Completing immunizations early also ensures a smoother, more relaxed process.

Continued protection:
Vaccinating your student before school starts allows their body to fully respond to the vaccine and develop necessary immunities. This will help reduce their risk of contracting and carrying vaccine-preventable diseases.

More appointment availability:
MCHD Back-to-School clinics offer a variety of appointment options, allowing you to choose a time that best fits your family’s schedule.

Allow time for any follow-ups:
If rescheduling or follow-up appointments are needed, starting early allows ample time for these adjustments before the new school year begins.

What immunizations are required before entering school?

The State of Illinois mandates essential vaccinations for all children before entering school to protect them from specific infectious diseases. The number and schedule of these vaccinations depend on a student’s age, grade, and vaccine history.

Are there exemptions to vaccination requirements?

Yes. Children can be exempt from current vaccination requirements under the following two categories:

  • Religious – Parents or guardians requesting religious exemptions must complete the required form with their child’s healthcare provider.
  • Medical – If a child has a medical condition that prevents the administration of a required vaccine, their healthcare provider should document this. Depending on the child’s medical condition, this may need to be reviewed annually.

Parents and guardians should work with their school before each academic year to complete any necessary documentation.

Why are back-to-school vaccines so important?

Without question, effective vaccination among students attending school, from pre-school through college, protects your child, other children and families, and society.

There are many reasons parents should adhere to recommended vaccination schedules. Vaccines:

  • Reduce your child’s risk of severe illness,
  • Are safe and effective,
  • Protect those we care about,
  • Can save your family time and money.

How Can I Get Help Paying for These Vaccines?

Most health insurance plans cover routine childhood vaccinations.

Additionally, the MCHD offers the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program and accepts Medicaid and most health insurance plans. Personal payment discount options are also available at the time of service.

Schedule your student’s appointment today!

MCHD Back-to-School Immunization Clinics are listed on our website, Facebook page, and in local newspapers.

Contact the Moultrie County Health Department at (217) 728-4114 to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help you ensure your student is protected and ready for the new school year!

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