Health departments remind parents of new vaccination requirement

County Health Departments are reminding parents about a new vaccination requirement that goes into effect this year.

By law, all Illinois children entering the 6th and 12th grades are now required to show proof of having received meningococcal vaccination.

This vaccination is important because meningitis is a serious bacterial illness, according to a news release from the health department. It can have devastating effects including the loss of limbs, neural impairment and death.

The disease is spread through the exchange of respiratory secretions and saliva. Activities such as kissing or sharing close living quarters can place someone at risk for getting meningitis.

The meningococcal vaccine can prevent four types of meningitis, including two of the three most common types in the United States.

For more information contact your local health department, in Marion County call 532-6518, or 548-3878, in Clinton County call 594-5474, in Fayette County call 283-1044, and in Washington County call 327-3644.