MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New statewide immunizations take effect in September, and parents are urged to act now before school starts.

Dr. Gigi Chawla, a health expert, said Minnesota has already had more than 500 cases of whooping cough reported this year and the 2011 measles outbreak in the state started with an unvaccinated child.

“The rates of vaccination have decreased the amount of deaths we see from 10,000 thousand or so down to still 250 per year and the majority are infants,” Chawla said.

Overall, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that vaccinations that were given to children in the last 20 years will prevent 732,000 deaths and save $295 billion in costs.

“Realistically we expect 30,000 thousand people to die each year from Influenza in the United States, and in West Africa they have had 1,000 people die, and there’s a world-wide frenzy,” Chawla said.

Chawla told WCCO Radio’s Roshini Rajkumar on News and Views Sunday, that people should reach out to their health care provider and get vaccinated.

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