New School Vaccine Requirement

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – There are some new guidelines for parents when it comes to getting their kids vaccinated against other diseases.

It’s never fun getting a shot, but this year, more kids in Illinois may have to get one. The Illinois Department of Public Health is requiring all sixth through 12th grade students to show proof of having one Tdap vaccine, an immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

More teens were catching the coughing disease which is why more kids are now required to get the vaccine.

“You cough violently for 100 days with pertussis and of course that’s how you spread it.”

There are three national exemptions from getting the vaccine: medical, religious and philosophical reasons. Although Wisconsin allows philosophical exemptions, Illinois does not.

Dr. Trent Hippard with Wellness Tree Family Chiropractic disagrees with the state law.

“Parents have the right in any sense to choose what they believe is best for their kids in the interest of their family.”

Dr. Hippard says he’s not against vaccines but he says health experts should give parents the facts.

“Give them both sides of the story, not to be biased of the point, you should do this or shouldn’t do that, but to give them the information so they can make the best decision for their family and for their health,”

Dr. Hippard will be offering workshops on vaccines this month. You can find those dates here.

You can find a link to the National Vaccine Information Center here.

Also new this year, students in Rockford Public Schools must have their vaccinations and physicals done by the first day of school, August 26th. Previously, families had until October 15th.

If you need to get your child vaccinated, a free mobile site is headed to the district administration building located at 501 7th Street in Rockford. The Care Mobile provides free basic medical and dental care to uninsured or underinsured children ages 0-18 who need care.

The Care Mobile will be at the administration building on the following dates from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday August 13th
Friday August 16th
Monday August 19th
Tuesday August 20th

For more information about the Care Mobile, call 815-971-5810. To schedule an appointment, please call 815-971-5800 #5.

Crusader Community Health is also extending its hours to accommodate for school physicals. You can find a link for more information here.

Keep in mind, a student must have a physical within one year prior to entering a pre-school program, kindergarten, 6th grade, and/or 9th grade. New students who enroll after the first day of school have 30 days to comply with these health requirements.

In addition to the new Tdap vaccine, Rockford students will have to show proof of basic immunizations and required boosters. Students in Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grades are also required to have an oral exam prior to May 15th of the school year. Children enrolling into Kindergarten or any student enrolling for the first time are required to have an eye exam before the first day of school. For more details about this, click here.


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