March of Dimes reminds parents to immunize children for the new school year

Published: Friday, July 25, 2014 at 04:35 PM.

MAITLAND — March of Dimes, the leading organization for mom and baby health, urges parents to immunize their children against infectious diseases before the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), and measles are just a few of the serious vaccine-preventable diseases that still affect children and adults in the United States today.

“Immunizations are as important today as they were in the age of polio in the 1950s, when the March of Dimes funded the pioneering work that resulted in the vaccine that still is used today against this deadly disease,” said Dr. Karen Harris, Program Services Committee chair for the March of Dimes Florida Chapter. “Back-to-school season is the time of the year when we especially encourage kids to get their shots to protect their health.”

Even small groups of unimmunized people can quickly spread disease, Dr. Harris says. In the US, both measles and whooping cough are at epidemic rates.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the most recent school year (2013 – 2014) immunization status reports for all 67 Florida counties indicate rates of:

●Kindergarten: 93.2 percent (state and national goal is 95 percent)

●Seventh grade: 96.6 percent (state goal is 95 percent; national goal is 90 percent)

●Two-year-old children (2013): 86.72 percent (state and national goal is 90 percent)



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