Director of Health Education

The goal of the Perry County Health Department’s Immunization Program is to reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases among Ohio’s children, adolescents and adults.

It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs! However, it is easy to get confused by the messages in the media.

First we are assured that, thanks to vaccines, some diseases are almost gone from the U.S. But we are also warned to immunize our children, ourselves as adults, and the elderly.

While many diseases like polio and diphtheria are becoming very rare in the U.S., it’s important to remember that they are becoming rare because we have been vaccinating against them. We need to keep immunizing until the disease is eliminated.

Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and the disease will spread to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years. In 2014, Ohio experienced its largest outbreak of the measles in the U.S. in 20 years.

We don’t vaccinate just to protect our children. We also vaccinate to protect our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Smallpox was eradicated by immunizing the population against the disease. Our children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. Smallpox is now only a memory, and if we keep vaccinating against other diseases, the same will someday be true for them too. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to the serious effects of certain diseases.

The safety and effectiveness of vaccines are under constant study. Vaccine safety is a shared responsibility among the federal government, state and local health departments, other partners and the public. Over the last 20 years, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results are clear. Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccination against infectious diseases remains one of the most successful health interventions in the past 100 years.

If you have a child entering kindergarten, 7th grade, or 12th grade in the fall, they will need vaccinations before school begins. Children entering kindergarten will need boosters before they start school. 7th grade students need one dose of meningococcal vaccine and a TDAP. 12th grade students need a dose of meningococcal vaccine.

Vaccinations are available through the Health Department Monday-Friday by appointment. Call 740-342-5179 as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Make sure to bring your insurance or medical card information and a current shot record with you for your appointment.

The Perry County Health Department is working to keep you safe where you live, work and play. Contact us at 740-342-5179, visit us at 409 Lincoln Park Drive, New Lexington, go to our webpage at PerryHealth.com and follow us on Facebook.

Load comments