The public school system of Springfield, Illinois, sent more than 500 students home because they missed the deadline set to submit evidence of mandatory physicals and immunizations. On Tuesday, 528 students were removed from class during the first week of school This represents an increase from the 477 sent home in 2017. Local WAND television news reported that District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill is proud that the school system set the students home, noting that it is the parents’ responsibility to comply with school rules.

According to an announcement made by Springfield Pubilc Schools before commencing classes, all students entering the system from pre-k through the 9th grade, as well as newcomers, must show that they have current physicals and immunizations. In addition, students entering their senior year must also have a meningococcal vaccine.”Students who cannot provide current health information will be excluded from school,” noted the announcement, “beginning the 10th day. Families should make appointments as soon as possible with their family doctor to complete these health requirements.”

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health offered physicals and appointments. 

While most people associate schools with vaccine or immunization, no one ever outgrows the the need for immunizations. “Vaccination is a shared responsibility,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Although you may be healthy and only experience mild illnesses from a vaccine preventable disease, you could pass that disease to people around you who may become seriously ill. Babies who are too young to be vaccinated, older adults, and people with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes are at greater risk for severe illness or complications. If you’re not willing to get vaccinated to protect yourself, do it for the loved ones around you.”

Diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children are no longer common in the United States because of safe and effective vaccines. While polio was once America’s most feared disease for causing death and paralysis across the country, but because of vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States. The need for vaccinations does not end in childhood. Adults should get flu vaccine each year and receive a Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster vaccine or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) every 10 years. Tdap is also recommended for pregnant women during each pregnancy. Adults 50 years and older are recommended to receive the shingles vaccine. Adults 65 and older are also recommended to receive both pneumococcal vaccines. Some adults younger than 65 years with certain conditions are also recommended to receive one or more pneumococcal vaccinations. Adults may need other vaccines (such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and HPV) depending on their age, if pregnant, occupation, travel, medical conditions, vaccinations they have already received, or other considerations.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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