This article appeared in Michigan State Medical Society. Read more here.

The Parent Information Network (PIN), comprised of Michigan’s leading health care providers, today reminded parents preparing to send their kids back to school to ensure they are fully immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. PIN is raising awareness of the importance of childhood immunizations alongside the “I Vaccinate” initiative from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services and Franny Strong Foundation.

“Immunizations are safe, they’re effective, and they’re the best way to keep our children safe from serious illnesses in the classroom and on the playground,” said MSMS President Mohammed A. Arsiwala, MD. “Parents have an opportunity this back-to-school season to make sure their own kids are fully immunized, protecting both themselves, their families, their classmates, and their communities.”

Michigan in recent years has been among the states with the lowest childhood immunization rates in the nation. It is among the 30 states in 2019 to experience the largest measles outbreak in more than 20 years. Michigan also sees hundreds of cases of whooping cough, mumps, and chickenpox each year, despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines to prevent them.