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Getting your child vaccinated according to the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to help protect their health. Whether it’s a baby attending childcare, a toddler going to preschool, or a student heading back to school or college, parents should check their children’s vaccination records.
The 2017 measles outbreak which affected 79 Minnesotans is a strong reminder that communicable diseases are present and can spread quickly within our community. The unimmunized are particularly vulnerable in this situation.
Vaccines protect against a number of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk for disease and can also spread disease to others in their classroom and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.
Vaccines are among the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent disease. They can help reduce time missed from school due to illness, and save money on expensive treatments or hospitalizations.
“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness,” says Deb Purfeerst, Rice County Public Health Director. “Getting children vaccinated is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure a healthy future for their child. Talk to your health care professional to make sure your child is up to date on all of their vaccines.”
Information is available on the Minnesota Department of Health website for parents who have questions about what’s required for school, early childhood or child care. This information: “Are Your Kids Ready? When to Get Vaccines, Birth to 16 Years” can be found at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/schedules.html.
Vaccines supplied through the Minnesota Department of Health are also available at Rice County Public Health for children on Minnesota Health Care Programs and children and adults who are uninsured. A minimal donation is suggested, however no one is denied due to inability to pay.
Walk-in immunization clinics are held every Tuesday from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Rice County Public Health Department, located at 320 NW 3rd Street, Faribault. Appointments can also be scheduled for alternative times or locations if necessary. For more information, contact Rice County Public Health at 507-332-6111.
Susan Prieve, Rice County Public Health Supervisor (507) 332-5916
Deb Purfeerst, Rice County Public Health Director (507) 332-6111
Sara Folsted, Rice County Administrator (507) 332-6121