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Immunization Awareness Month

imune smallAugust marks the beginning of back to school shopping and the last full month of summer.

And with fall peeking its head around the corner, bringing with it the start of cold and flu season, it makes sense that August also marks National Immunization Awareness Month.

Many immunizations for kids are dictated by the school system, but this doesn't cover all of the preventative immunizations out there, such as the chicken pox vaccination, that exist in today's medical practices.

As far as adult immunizations go, many aren't aware of what to get and why. And some immunizations are covered by insurance, while others are not. So, we are here to help our residents navigate the ins and outs of immunizations with the top 6 things you should know:

  • Why get vaccinated? Some infectious diseases are considered "vaccine-preventable," meaning that a vaccine can prevent the disease, which is much easier and less expensive than treating it. If you're not immunized, some of these diseases could result in hospitalization or premature death. At the very least, one of these diseases would result in doctor's bills and missed work. Also, by getting recommended vaccinations you are in effect protecting the future generations, helping to wipe out these diseases all together.
  • Are immunizations safe for babies and children? Some parents believe that there's a link between autism and vaccinations. It's said that scientific studies prove that there is no connection. They say that it's not only safe, but also highly recommended to vaccinate children on schedule.
  • Is it safe for a child to have a number of vaccinations at once? The number of vaccinations has increased immensely over the years as scientists have found more ways to protect children from potentially deadly diseases. Today, it may seem as if babies and young children are faced with so many different shots, and some have combinations of vaccines in one shot.
  • Haven't most of these diseases, like Polio, been gone for a while? Many diseases, such as polio and whooping cough, have become very uncommon because of vaccinations. But if we stopped vaccinating, they could once again, spread rapidly. These vaccinations will not become unnecessary until the infectious disease has been completely eliminated.
  • Which vaccinations should adults consider? There are many vaccinations out there today designed for adults, from the flu shot to the tetanus shot, and different people will benefit from these preventative measures, depending on stage of life. Your primary health care provider will be the best person to determine which vaccines will be best for you, and it's always good to ask them at each annual visit.
  • Which vaccinations are covered by most health insurance policies? Starting in July of 2010, new health insurance policies are required to cover certain preventive services without any cost-sharing for the enrollee when delivered by in-network providers. Many, though not all, vaccinations fall into this category.

If you have any questions about the blog please feel free to call our office at 301-909-8117.

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