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      How important is it for babies to get immunizations?

      Kids will soon be back to school, and they're required to have shots to help keep everyone healthy and safe. But babies need to be immunized as well. What diseases can it help prevent?

      Twelve-month-old Alexis recently got immunized. Immunizations are a weakened or killed strain of a bacteria or virus. It's beneficial for babies to get immunized in order to prevent diseases like chicken pox, measles, and influenza. According to OSF Pediatrician, Dr. Kasetty, vaccines provide between 85 percent and 95 percent protection. But some parents opt out.

      â??Parents can choose to exempt from the vaccinations, and they can choose not to get it,â?? explains Dr. Kasetty. â??However, these kids are at risk of getting infections, and that is one of the reasons why we are seeing continuing illnesses for some of the diseases."

      Alexis's mother, Jennifer Rama, explains why she places an emphasis on keeping her baby healthy.

      â??It's very important,â?? says Rama. â??I was a sickly child, so it's very important for my kids to stay healthy."

      Dr. Kasetty says that in the last five to ten years, he's noticed an increase in whooping cough cases. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends getting vaccines to protect against such diseases, which are very contagious.

      â??I think it's important that they have their immunizations. With everything that's going around right now, I want to keep them healthy,â?? Rama says.

      Baby Alexis will continue on that healthy track when she returns to the hospital for her 15-month checkup.