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Time to Schedule Back-to-School Checkups and Vaccinations
The Cook County Department of Public Health urges physicals, dental exams and shots

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Special to

Cook County Department of Public Health

                      Media contact: Kitty Loewy, 708-492-2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    pager: 708-643-9432

The Cook County Department of Public Health urges physicals, dental exams and shots

The Cook County Department of Public Health is reminding parents that children are expected to be up-to-date with their immunizations and physical and dental examinations before the start of the school year. 
“To beat the rush, it’s important to schedule your child’s appointments as soon as possible,” said John H. Stroger, Jr., President of the Board of Cook County Commissioners. “Illinois law requires immunizations for children attending public, private or parochial elementary or secondary schools. Also, children entering kindergarten, fifth and ninth grades must receive school physical examinations.”
Additionally, as of July 1, the state is requiring that all kindergarteners, second and sixth graders get an oral hygiene exam. Each child will be required to show proof of the exam during the school year, or the school may hold the child's report card. A child may receive a waiver if there is proof of undue burden, or lack of access to a dentist.

“Childhood immunizations and physical exams are some of the safest ways of protecting children from harmful and even deadly diseases,” said CCDPH chief operating officer, Stephen A. Martin, Jr., Ph.D., M.P.H. “We can’t stress enough the importance of regular dental exams. Poor oral hygiene can lead to poor school attendance, poor grades and poor adult health.”
The health department stresses that for continuity of care, it’s best if children have a private family physician and dentist who will be able to provide routine preventive screenings and immunizations as well as assess the health needs of the patient.
“Having a regular provider who is familiar with the health of the child offers the best option for the patient,” said Dr. Martin.
State law does provide exemptions from the immunization requirements for religious or medical reasons.
Free, walk-in CCDPH immunization clinics (see eligibility requirements) and (by appointment) dental clinics are offered for suburban Cook County children 18 years or younger. For more information regarding back-to-school immunizations and dental exams, please call 708-492-2150 for immunization information and 708-492-2140 for Dental Health Services. TDD for hearing/speech impaired: 708-492-2002. Or log onto,
Children are eligible for no cost vaccinations if they are:
 Enrolled in Medicaid, or
 Uninsured, or
 Native American or Alaskan Indian, or  
 Under-insured (health insurance does not pay for vaccination)                   

Vaccination Schedule:
Measles: Two doses of live attenuated measles vaccine, the first dose at 12 months of age or later, and the second dose at least one month after the first; a physician diagnosed case of measles; or, laboratory confirmed evidence of immunity.
Polio: Three or more doses administered at appropriate intervals with the last dose being a booster received on or after the child’s fourth birthday.
Diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw), pertussis (whooping cough) (DtaP): Four or more doses administered at the appropriate intervals with the last dose being a booster received on or after the child’s fourth birthday.
Mumps: One dose of mumps vaccine at 12 months of age or later, a physician diagnosed case of mumps or laboratory confirmed evidence of immunity.
Rubella: One dose of rubella vaccine at 12 months of age or later, or laboratory evidence of immunity.
Hepatitis B: Three doses of hepatitis B vaccine with the first two shots at least four weeks apart and the third shot administered at least four months after the first shot.
Varicella (chicken pox): Required for children entering day care, pre-kindergarten or kindergarten for the first time. One dose of varicella vaccine on or after the first birthday, proof of prior varicella disease or laboratory evidence of immunity.
Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib): Children 2-5 years of age starting pre-kindergarten school program must show proof of having received the primary series (3 doses of Hib vaccine at 2 months apart) and a booster dose at 1 year of age. However, children 2-5 years of age who have not received their primary series of Hib vaccine must show proof of receiving at least one dose of Hib vaccine at 15 months of age or older.                                                                                                                             ###                                               

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