Dear Editor

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Dear Editor,

August presents an ideal opportunity to focus on the importance of immunizations with National Immunization Awareness Month. As children finish doctor visits for the return to school, my colleagues and I in Springfield want to encourage protections to promote strong public health.

Doctors universally recognize vaccination as a safe and effective way to keep our children safe from disease, while also strengthening the health of our community at large. However, some children cannot medically get vaccinated, such as my one-year-old daughter.

Too young to be immunized herself, my daughter and many like her rely on “community immunity” where others get immunized around her to prevent the spread of illnesses among themselves and more vulnerable people. After careful study and conversations with professionals, I have supported several measures to encourage more education about and utilization of safe immunizations.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

I supported a new law that requires all exemptions for vaccinations – where parents choose not to have their children vaccinated – to be obtained through consulting a physician after a thorough discussion on the issue. Schools will be directed to send children without vaccinations home when serious contagious diseases are reported. While I had hoped for a more aggressive approach from the Department of Public Health with the passage of House Resolution 144, I’m pleased our laws are now updated.

These pieces of legislation are ways to ensure that parents understand the health impacts for their children and the other children they interact with at school, day-care or during an afternoon at the park. I encourage parents and guardians to learn more about the safety of vaccine-preventable diseases at or the Illinois Department of Public Health website at


Michael J. Zalewski
State Representative
23rd District

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