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Michigan Parents Urged to Ensure Children are Up-to-date on Vaccinations Before Starting School

As the school year approaches, health care providers remind parents to fully vaccinate

As Michigan families prepare for the upcoming school year, physicians and nurses across Michigan today reminded parents to get their children up-to-date on their vaccinations before the first day of class.

"When children are vaccinated, they are protected from preventable diseases," said David M. Krhovsky, MD, president of the Michigan State Medical Society. "Checking in with a child's pediatrician should be on every parent's radar as they prepare to send them back to school. Vaccinations don't just keep immunized children safe -- they help protect children who cannot safely be vaccinated from deadly diseases as well."

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently released final immunization waiver rate numbers for the previous school year, revealing that waiver rates in Michigan dropped by over 35 percent in the last year. Some counties saw even higher rates, with a 55 percent decrease in Clinton County and 53 percent decrease in Wayne County. Health officials hope to see the trend continue in 2016. Statewide:

  • The kindergarten waiver rate saw a 32.1 percent drop - from 5.3 to 3.6 percent;
  • The 7th grade waiver rates dropped by 35.5 percent, from 4.8 to 3.1 percent.

"Parents don't let their children leave the house for the first day of school without their backpacks and school supplies, and they shouldn't send them to class without their immunizations, either," said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. "Michigan's plummeting waiver rate is fantastic news for everyone in the state. Thanks to parents across Michigan, a higher percentage of students are better protected than they were in the prior school year."

"Communities in Michigan are much safer when everyone is up-to-date on their vaccines," said Jon Gold, MD, FAAP of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Michigan Chapter. "When parents ensure that their children are fully vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own families from preventable diseases, but other families as well."

PIN is made up of Michigan's leading health care providers, including the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan Osteopathic Association, Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Michigan Association of Local Public Health, the Michigan Association of School Nurses, the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health, the School Community Health Alliance of Michigan and the Michigan Association of Health Plans. PIN works together to better educate parents about the importance of childhood immunizations.

     

Posted in: Public Health Issues, Immunization, Hot Topics