A Call For Immunization

Feb 8, 2018
Mary Cullen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With more cases of vaccine-preventable disease in Illinois, doctors say shots should not be skipped.

Dusty Rhodes


Five babies at a day care center in Palatine, a northwest suburb of Chicago, have the measles. These infants were vulnerable because they are all under the age of 1, and therefore too young to get the measles vaccine. It’s the latest in a rash of cases that have shown up in about a dozen states -- focusing new attention on families who choose not to vaccinate their children.

Springfield District 186 plans to give parents and students a shorter deadline for immunizations and physicals next school year. They'll have to be completed by the 10th day of school, which means around the end of August. That's much sooner than this year's mid-October deadline. Around 500 students failed to comply and some were out of school for up to 3 weeks.

Though there is widespread support of the HPV vaccine, there will be opponents to the idea of requiring inoculation for preteen girls.

Lawmakers could face a dilemma this spring: whether the state should play guardian angel to Illinois' preteens.

A proposal is in the works to require vaccinations for 11- and 12-year-old girls that are designed to stop certain types of the human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease. The virus, HPV for short, also is linked to cervical cancer.