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The Winnebago County Health Department’s Pediatric Immunization Program works to prevent the spread of illness by vaccinating children for protection against a wide variety of diseases. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children.  Last year the program provided more than 3,498 vaccinations for infants and school aged children. Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world. In 2013, the Winnebago County Health Department investigated 60 cases of the vaccine-preventable illness pertussis.

One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2013. Data from 2013 showed a higher than normal number of measles cases nationally and in individual states, including an outbreak of 58 cases in New York City that was the largest reported outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1996.

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 the 2014 infant immunizations schedule, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.

For more information or to make a childhood immunization appointment through the Winnebago County Health Department’s Pediatric Immunization program call 815-720-4370, or the Blackhawk Park School Linked Health Center at (815) 972-7200, Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm, or visit: www.wchd.org.

The Winnebago County Health Department is a member of the Northern Illinois Public Health Consortium (NIPHC), a 501 (c)(4) organization of public health departments.  Members include the health departments of the City of Chicago, the Village of Skokie, and the Counties of Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will and Winnebago. These organizations are promoting in unison the importance of immunizations in observance of National Infant Immunizations Week.

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