Along with pencils and notebooks, health officials are recommending parents send their kids back to school with one more thing.
Michele Bever, Executive Director at the South Heartland District Health Department, says, "We're encouraging people to think about immunizations as one of those 'check-off-the-list' items."
Health officials not only say it is important for students to be vaccinated, it's mandatory.
"For one thing, it's required for school entry," says Bever, "and there's a series of vaccines that especially at the kindergarten and seventh grade ages are important for kids to get."
With more than 17,000 cases of whooping cough being reported in 2012, officials say that's another good vaccination to have.
Bever says, "There is an immunization or a vaccine for pertussis or whooping cough and there's a certain schedule for that. Also, there's a booster available for teens and adults and seniors too."
Community Health Nurse at the Central District Health Department, Katie Wichman, says some parents are hesitant to go through with vaccinations for reasons that she believes are simply myths.
"There are myths about the mmr vaccine and autism," says Wichman. "They say that receiving mmr puts your child at risk for autism. Parents really need to look into what they're researching. Don't just Google it and read the first article, but make sure it's a validated website before you trust it.
Wichman says when considering immunizations, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Wichman says, "In my mind, I would rather have an autistic child than a dead child. So, getting your child immunized, it's just coincidence. That's all that it really is."