Highlighting National Infant Immunization Week
April 17, 2019
In 2016, more than 17,000 cases of whooping cough were reported to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Whooping cough can be deadly, especially for young babies who are too young to receive the vaccination yet. One recent study showed that many whooping cough deaths among babies could be prevented if all babies received the first dose on time, at two months of age when they are old enough to get vaccinated.
This week, we recognize National Infant Immunization Week to spread awareness and the importance of vaccinating your children. By immunizing your infants accordingly, you are helping to prevent them from contracting 14 serious childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles, before they turn two years old.
Diseases prevented through vaccination:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German measles)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
Why should you choose to vaccinate?
- Vaccinating your children is highly effective and is an easy way to keep your family healthy.
- It helps provide immunity BEFORE children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
- Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for your child to receive at the recommended ages.
There are, of course, still reported cases of vaccine-preventable diseases, but these cases are usually slowed or stopped due to most children being fully vaccinated and therefore protected against the disease. However, if we all stopped vaccinating, the few cases we have now in the United States would spread quickly to tens or even hundreds of thousands of cases.
In the United States, it has been reported that less than 1 percent of children do not receive any vaccinations. But there is a rising number of children who are only receiving half of the recommended vaccines, which is causing the biggest threat. Therefore, it is important to have your child receive all doses of their recommended vaccinations on schedule to help protect them fully against these diseases.
How to pay for vaccinations?
Vaccination costs are normally covered by most health insurance plans; however, it is good to call your insurance provider before scheduling your child’s doctor appointment. If you do not have insurance or your vaccination costs are not covered by your existing insurance, there is a Federal program that enables eligible children to receive their recommended childhood vaccines. The Vaccines For Children (VFC) program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. However, there is still a chance you may have to pay an administration fee on your own.
Children younger than 19 years of age are eligible for VFC vaccines if they are:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
A child that meets one or more of the eligibility requirements will be able to receive VFC. Families who cannot afford the administration fee will not be denied access to the VFC.
Call today and talk to your healthcare provider and find out what vaccines your child has had and when they are due for their next dose.
* Children under 19 years old may also be eligible for the VFC program if they are “underinsured” – they may have insurance, but their insurance doesn’t cover any vaccines, or it doesn’t cover certain recommended vaccines for children 18 years and younger.
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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