The Importance of Vaccinations for Children of All Ages

by • August 29, 2016 • Expert Advice, September 2016

Whether you have a newborn or toddler or school age children, it is important to make sure that your children ages 0 to 18 are up-to-date with their vaccinations. With back to school and fall just around the corner, knowing whether or not your child is in need of vaccines helps protect them, their siblings and parents from illnesses throughout the year.

Immunizations play a big role in keeping children of all ages healthy and free from illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinations lower the chance of many certain diseases. Outbreaks of ailments such as smallpox and polio were eradicated when vaccines were implemented in the mid-20th century. Vaccinations continue to play a significant role in reducing and even eliminating preventable severe illnesses.

CalOptima, the health insurance provider for thousands of adults and children throughout Orange County, recommends visiting your child’s health care professional to ensure your child’s immunization records are up-to-date.:

Diseases are easily preventable with vaccinations: Many diseases can be prevented by getting vaccinations, such as smallpox, measles, tetanus, meningitis and hepatitis. If other people who are around your child are not fully vaccinated — you may be exposing your child to infectious diseases — if your child is not up-to-date and current with vaccinations. That’s what happened during the measles outbreak which started in Orange County in December 2014, and spread to other states. According to the CDC, measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses.

Vaccinations are very safe and effective: According to the CDC, the United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible, and that it also has the safest, most effective vaccine supply. Children do not like shots, but it is a quick process where the temporary discomfort, greatly outweighs the risks.

Children need protection: Children have less developed immune systems that are not as strong as adults. It is easier for them to get sick and develop infections, especially when going into a new environment such as daycare, school or college. They are more likely to remain healthy if parents ensure that their children received the proper vaccinations.

CalOptima recommends that parents stay up-to-date with their child’s vaccinations to protect them from harmful diseases. Talk to your child’s doctor about which vaccinations are needed and to make sure that your child, is current with their vaccines.

CalOptima is a county organized health system, and provides publicly funded health care coverage for low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities in Orange County. In total, CalOptima serves more than 789,000 members with a network of more than 7,500 primary care doctors and specialists, as well as 30 hospitals.

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