Editor's note: The following information is from the Dakota County Department of Public Health.
Making sure children receive all their immunizations on time is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure their children's long-term health―as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in the community.
Some vaccine-preventable diseases have become very rare—thanks to vaccines—but serious outbreaks still happen. Already this year, more than 2,000 cases of "whooping cough" (pertussis) have been reported in Minnesota, including 150 in Dakota County. In the U.S., 10 pertussis-related deaths have been reported in 2012.
The best way to make sure our communities and schools do not see more outbreaks leading to more unnecessary illnesses and deaths, is by keeping your children up-to-date with their vaccinations.
It’s Minnesota Law
To attend school in Minnesota, students must show they’ve had the required immunizations or file a legal exemption with the school. Parents may file a medical exemption signed by a health care provider or a conscientious objection signed by a parent/guardian and notarized.
- Check to see if your child or teen has had all required immunizations. Call your clinic or check the immunization schedules from the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Contact your clinic if your child needs immunizations.
- If your health insurance doesn’t cover vaccines, contact Dakota County Public Health at 952-891-7999 to find out about low-cost vaccination clinics.
- Provide schools with immunization dates or exemption forms
Vaccinations aren’t just for little kids
Children of all ages—and adults—need to stay up-to-date on vaccinations to protect themselves, their family, and babies and young children in the community who have not yet been full vaccinated.
Ask about vaccinations the next time a member of your family sees a doctor. Take a short quiz from the Centers for Disease Control to find out what vaccines you need.
- Are your kids ready for school? Find out where they can get free or low-cost or immunizations. One clinic per month is scheduled at the in Apple Valley.
- Learn more about protecting infants from pertussis. English – Spanish
- Get health and safety information in six languages through ECHO.
- More news and updates from Public Health.