With recent news of a person infected with the measles virus being in the Chicago area, Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady is urging residents to make sure they are protected against the highly contagious virus.
According to a report published recently in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, due to the presence of two major international airports, Cook County is number 1 on a list of U.S. areas most likely to have a major outbreak of the measles virus.
“According to the CDC, measles, while highly contagious, is also highly preventable through vaccination,” said Supervisor O’Grady. “Orland Township has the measles vaccine available, at minimal cost, for residents in need of it.”
Orland Township has many opportunities for residents to get an MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and other vaccines. The Township holds a Vaccinations For Children (VFC) clinic every month at the Township building, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. The next clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. No appointment is necessary and patients are seen on a first come, first served basis. Children must be under the age of 18, uninsured, underinsured (plan does not cover vaccines) or Native American (American Indian / Alaskan Native). All vaccines are subject to a $10 administrative fee ($20 for non-Township residents).
For more information on the VFC program, click here.
The MMR vaccine, and other required school vaccines, will also be available at the Township’s Back to School Health Fair, scheduled for Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Township office.
The Back to School Health Fair is free to attend and no appointment is necessary. In addition to vaccines, sports and health physicals will be available, along with dental and eye screenings, haircuts, school supplies and giveaways from local vendors.
Adults in need of the MMR vaccine can make an appointment to see the Township’s nurse on Wellness Wednesdays, which are the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Appointments are scheduled between the hours of 8:30 and 11 a.m. Special considerations can be made for those adults unable to make a Wellness Wednesday appointment, please contact the Township’s Health Services coordinator.
All adult vaccines are subject to minimal charges. Please contact the Township for specific fees.
According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. The CDC also advises that the measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.
“I urge residents in need of the MMR vaccine to take advantage of the Township’s Health Services Department’s availability to administer the vaccine,” said O’Grady. “One quick stop at the Township office can prevent weeks of suffering.”
The CDC guidelines on individuals who should receive an MMR vaccine include those planning international travel, infants, children, and any adults not up-to-date on their vaccines. Visit the CDC’s website, cdc.gov, for more information and recommendations. Residents should always check with their healthcare provider as to whether they are in need of the measles and other vaccines.
For more information on Orland Township’s vaccination clinics, the Back to School Health Fair and scheduling a Wellness Wednesday appointment, please call the Township at (708) 403-4222. Orland Township is located at 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park.