Quinn signs immunization bill at Peoria Kroger

Posted: 8/29/2012

From the Journal Star:

PEORIA - Children in Illinois as young as 10 years old will now be able to receive vaccinations at their local pharmacy.

On Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law at Kroger on North Knoxville Avenue that allows pharmacists to administer flu and tetanus, diptheria and acellular pertussis (TDAP) vaccines to children ages 10 to 13. The previous law only allowed children 14 and older to receive these shots from pharmacists.

"Families raising children and working jobs have a busy life," Quinn said. "We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible to get our kids their shots they need in order to get to class. Immunization, vaccination - these are important measures to prevent bad things from happening."

Quinn appeared at retail pharmacies in Chicago, Rockford, Milan and Peoria on Tuesday to promote the bill and inform parents about their new vaccination options. The law took effect immediately.

The new law will make it easier for roughly 630,000 children across the state to access flu and TDAP vaccines.

A new state mandate requires children entering the sixth and ninth grades in Illinois to be vaccinated for pertussis, or whooping cough, by Oct. 15. Students will need to show proof that they received the vaccination before being allowed to attend school.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious illness that can be easily spread through coughing and sneezing. The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported more than 1,300 cases of the illness this year.

"We petitioned the government to pass this law so that the vaccinations would be more readily available to all those 630,000, roughly, kids that are required to get a vaccination," said Dave Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. "If they had to go to the doctor's office, it would be time-consuming and more expensive, and frankly, it would make it very time-consuming and overburden the doctor's office."

Quinn hopes the additional access to immunizations and vaccines for younger children will lead to less spread of disease in the classroom.

"We advise our parents that this is very, very important," Quinn said. "This is something that you must do for the health and welfare of your child. It's important that we help make sure that child is as healthy as possible so they can learn."

Original here.