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Have Patients Become Complacent About the Threat of Disease?
Posted on: 8/1/2018

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Doctors and their staffs are encouraged to emphasize awareness about vaccines and help increase immunization rates during the weeks ahead.

Here's an overarching review of immunization requirements and recommendations for children, college-bound students and adults. 

Childhood vaccinations:


With the flurry of back-to-school physicals, seize the opportunity to educate parents that vaccines have been proven to protect children from serious diseases, such as measles and whooping cough.

Recommended Immunizations for Children from Birth to Six Years Old

Recommended Immunizations for Children Seven to 18 Years Old

If you have patients whose families need help paying for childhood vaccines, inform parents about the Vaccines For Children program.

If parents or legal guardians wish to exempt their children on religious grounds from required school immunizations and various examinations, Illinois law requires a Certificate of Religious Exemption form to be completed. Before parents or legal guardians submit the form, they will need to have the certificate signed by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. For more information, access ISMS' medical legal guideline, Childhood Immunization Exemptions.*

College bound:

Are some of your patients heading off to college? New vaccination requirements recently took effect for students attending Illinois colleges and universities (both private and public), which include:

  • At least one dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis [whooping cough]) vaccine within the previous 10 years. 
  • At least one dose of meningococcal vaccine on or after the student's 16th birthday (applies only to incoming students under age 22). 
  • Immunization or immunity against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).
  • An existing immunization exemption for students born before 1957 now only applies to MMR vaccinations.


Your adult patients may also need reminders about the value of immunizations. View the 2018 recommended immunizations schedule for adults by age from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information, visit ISMS' comprehensive Immunizations and Vaccinations webpage.

If you have questions, contact the ISMS advocacy team at 800-782-4767 ext. 1470, or send an email.

*This ISMS medical legal guideline is for educational purposes only.

As a member benefit, the guideline is password protected. If you need to request a username and password, contact online support at 888-476-7776 or onlinehelp@isms.org between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. After-hours requests are answered promptly the next business day. You may also register online or retrieve your username or password .

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