Amid a nationwide measles outbreak, the Illinois Department of Public Health is taking steps to increase vaccination rates to prevent measles cases here.
“The Illinois Department of Public Health is proactively working to increase vaccination rates and educate the public on the importance of vaccines to prevent the spread of measles,” said Jenny Winkler, director of quality, safety and health policy at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 704 cases of measles in 22 states. Seven measles cases have been identified in Illinois, Winkler said.
“While measles is something that should be of concern, we don’t want to be overly alarmed as we’ve only had seven cases in Illinois,” Winkler said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health plans to increase access to vaccines by expanding outreach in communities with low vaccination rates.
“They are deploying mobile health units in communities that have low vaccination rates,” Winkler said. “They’re supporting clinics at different community events and also partnering with community organizations and religious organizations to set up vaccine clinics that will provide access to vaccines.”
Winkler said the IDPH is working on public education to increase awareness about vaccines and to correct misinformation.
“We do have health systems that are sending parents letters about children that aren’t vaccinated and encouraging them to get immunized to prevent the spread of disease,” Winkler said. “As part of that, [Illinois Health and Hospital Association] really supports the work that our hospitals and the health department are doing.”
15-Health,26-Delivered,01-All No Sub,02-Pol,06-RK Email 11,19-Legal
May 5, 2019 at 01:12AM