Health Division: Get back-to-school vaccinations in July

In a press release the Oakland County Health Division recommends getting back-to-school vaccinations in July in order to avoid the August rush. Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield are open to give immunizations on Mondays from noon – 8 p.m. and Tuesdays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“Vaccines can save your child’s life,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Vaccinating your child can protect them against 14 different diseases such as chickenpox and pertussis.”

Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of the Health Division, said public health professionals across the United States are seeing increases in some childhood illnesses because some children have not received complete vaccinations.

“Vaccines have greatly reduced and even eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago,” Forzley said. “Vaccinations allow parents to trust that diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. But we are seeing an increase in some diseases that we have not seen in years because of not fully vaccinating or vaccinating on an alternative schedule.”

The Health Division is able to determine which vaccine each child needs to be current because it has access to Michigan’s vaccine records database.

For more information, visit the Health Division website at or find up-to-date public health information on Facebook and Twitter @publichealthOC.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, can seem like a common cold but it is very dangerous to babies and young children. Many are infected by older siblings, parents, or caregivers who might not know they have the disease. In Oakland County, there have already been 68 cases of pertussis this year, compared with 32 cases for the same time period in 2013.

Chickenpox used to be very common in the United States with about 4 million people getting the disease, causing over 10,000 hospitalizations, and about 150 deaths each year. In Oakland County, there have only been 54 cases this year, but that’s compared with 38 cases for the same time period last year.

About Sarah Hovis

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