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.  Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the word. Continued vaccination is necessary to protect everyone from potential outbreaks. 

Even when diseases are rare in the U.S., they can be brought into the country, 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 have been reported in a majority of states during 2012.  Today, there are cases in every state, and the country is on track to have the most reported cases since 1959.  As of November 2012, more than 35,000 cases have been reported across the United States, including 16 deaths.  In 2012, 24 cases of pertussis were reported in Winnebago County.

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.  Some diseases that vaccines protect against include chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella and tetanus. 2013 Infant Immunizations Schedule.

For more information or immunization appointments through the Winnebago County Health Department call the Winnebago County Health Department’s Pediatric Program at (815) 720-4370 or the Blackhawk Park School Linked Health Center at (815) 972-7200 Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm.  

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.  Other 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, and Will. These organizations are promoting in unison the importance of immunizations in observance of National Infant Immunizations Week.