By Lauren Victory

CHICAGO (CBS) — Many students in our area will not be stepping foot into a school for some time, if at all, this school year. But that doesn’t mean parents can skip many tasks on that back-to-school checklist.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory explains why one painful chore is still a must do–child immunizations. Even though they hurt to get, everyone’s health depends on it.

Nurse Sarah Lonsway says keeping up with immunizations–even the infants–is more important now than ever.

“It provides us with the best protection, so we don’t have any outbreaks besides the pandemic, like a measles outbreak,” said Lonsway.

The Northwestern Medicine’s vaccine clinic is prepared for pandemic panicked parents, and the Delnor Hospital fridge in Geneva is stocked for last minute back to school vaccinations.

Geneva District 304 sent out a reminder this week–an important assignment ahead of class on Monday.

“Kindergarten is a big one and sixth grade and senior year of high school,” Lonsway said.

Vaccinations must be up-to-date for students everywhere, says the lllinois Department of Public Health.

That includes students doing hybrid school – a combo of on-campus and on the computer—as well as for remote-only learners. Students cannot attend school without the shots, Lonsway said.

Lonsway says she noticed a slight dip in appointments this summer and wonders whether more parents are switching to homeschooling.

Lonsway says getting the flu vaccine will help differentiate between it and COVID-19.

We asked the Illinois State Board of Education what happens if remote students shirk their regular shots. Late Thursday, ISBE media was checking with school nurse staff.

Lauren Victory