August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), which highlights the importance and value of immunization across your lifetime. There are many reasons why immunizations are vital to our health, and because of vaccines, there has been a huge drop in new cases of infectious diseases and their damaging effects.
So, let’s chat and chew about why immunizations are essential to our health, especially at a young age, and when we should be vaccinated.
Immunizations save lives. Plain and simple, immunizing your loved ones protects them against harmful diseases—ones that have killed thousands or even eliminated large populations in the past. The success of immunizations has prevented parents from seeing their child suffer from whooping cough, tetanus, polio, or meningitis.
Vaccines are safe and effective. When you immunize your child, the administered vaccine has gone through a long approval process of scientists, doctors, and health care professionals. Although no medicine is perfect, most childhood vaccines result in immunity about 90% to 100% of the time. And while it may be uncomfortable to get pricked and pried, the vaccine itself is far less painful than the disease they prevent. Learn more about the effectiveness of vaccines here.
Immunizations help protect others around you as well. It’s unlikely that you could tell how healthy someone is by simply passing them in the street. With that being said, it’s extremely important to get vaccinated because of how easy vaccine-preventable diseases can spread. To put things into perspective, “Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year” according to Vaccines.gov.
Immunizations can save you time and money. Did you know that a child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities? Also, certain vaccine-preventable diseases can result in disabilities, which can greatly impact your family’s finances due to the inability to work, high medical bills or long-term disability care. Vaccinations are typically covered by insurance, so it’s worth the investment.
WHEN TO GET IMMUNIZATIONS
While vaccinating your children should be a high priority, it is also good to note that getting immunized as you age can be just as important. Check out the links below if you’re unsure when you or your loved ones should be vaccinated.
- Infants, Children, & Teens (birth to age 18)
- Adults (age 19 and older)
- During Pregnancy
- Seniors (age 65 and older)
Remember, even though many vaccine-preventable illnesses now occur in very low numbers, the germs that cause them are still everywhere, particularly in other parts of the world that are only a plane ride away. If the rates of immunizations decline even a little, it can cause a comeback of the infectious diseases that have nearly been wiped out in the United States.
Don’t forget, as a Compass Rose Health Plan member you have access to free vaccines throughout the year including the flu vaccination!