National Immunization Awareness Month recognized as students head back to school

La Crosse (WXOW)- August is National Immunization Awareness Month. It is a month dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of vaccinations for people of all ages.

The start of a new school year is around the corner for local students. Seeing their friends means sharing stories about what happened over the summer, but being back together can also mean sharing germs.

"Out of all of the medical inventions and discoveries we’ve had throughout the history of medicine, immunizations are perhaps the most effective at disease prevention and control," said Dr. Joe Behn of Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse.

Behn says the goal of immunization is to get vaccinated before exposure to a disease.

"We immunize for various illnesses some which historically we have been very successful at almost eradicating the presence of," he said. "So, a lot of people may not understand that there’s still a lot of impact from them."

For some students, getting vaccines is part of a back-to-school checklist; however, a list of vaccines is required by state law. The Wisconsin Student Immunization Law first passed in July 1975. It requires students to be vaccinated against a list of diseases at certain ages by the start of a new school year. Written evidence of immunization must be submitted to the school. Parents can sign a waiver to prevent their student from immunization by citing religious or health reasons.

"We have a lot of ground that we’ve made over the last hundred years on vaccines," Behn said. "It is, in my opinion, probably the best single intervention that we’ve had with acquiring health for not only the individual but also the community as a whole."

Local health officials urge parents to make immunization a priority.

"We just want people to know the importance," said Bryany Weigel of the Coulee Region Immunization Coalition. "Vaccines are lifesaving especially around back-to-school time."

Despite controversy over the potential side effects of vaccinations, Behn says research has disproven any links between certain vaccines and autism.

For a list of vaccine requirements for students by age, visit the Wisconsin Health Department website or talk to your physician.



More News

Rice Lake
New Richmond
Black River Falls
River Falls
Green Bay
La Crosse
Twin Cities
Weather Outlook: Significant rain totals possible by the end of the week

Weather Outlook: Significant rain totals possible by the end of the week

A big surface low will move through the region on Wednesday and Thursday.

Connect With WQOW
Top Stories

Sex offender faces new charges in Eau Claire

A convicted sex offender living in Eau Claire is charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a

UPDATE: 4 from Loyal, including 3 kids, killed in Apostle Island kayak incident

Sheriff Michael Brennan said Erik Fryman, 39, and his kids 3, 6 and 9-years-old died. The mom, Cari Mews, 29,

NEW: Missing Mondovi man found dead Wednesday afternoon

According to Mondovi Police Chief Colin Severson, the department is looking or Nathan D. Kummer who was reported missing by

UPDATE: Gas leak contained in Boyd

Boyd's fire chief told News 18 crews were digging up a leaking water line at Double D's Saloon and workers

Human Remains Found in Tomah

The Tomah Police Department confirmed on their Facebook page that human skeletal remains were found in an undeveloped field in

Scroll to top
Skip to content