Childhood immunization is an important way to keep our kids safe at home, at school, and out in the community. Vaccinating your child could be one of the most important decisions you make for their health starting from a young age. Not only do we have the ability to protect our children from viruses like the flu, but we also have vaccines for deadly diseases that have been eradicated from the United States. If we stop immunizing, diseases of the 20th century could make their way back into our modern society. This is why it is so important to make sure your family members are all up to date.
By the time your child turns six, he or she should have already received she majority of recommended vaccinations. These include chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis, MMR, and polio. By the age of 13, your child should have received vaccines to prevent human papillomavirus. Yearly, we should all be immunizing against the flu. While this may seem overwhelming, the CDC’s website and your child’s primary care provider should be able to walk you through each step from birth to age 18. While there has been a lot of debate recently surrounding vaccinations, there has yet to be any supportive evidence against vaccinating. Vaccines not only benefit your family, but they also benefit those around you by preventing the spread of different diseases and infections.
While some vaccines do have the capacity to cause side effects, they are rare and typically minor. Experiencing vaccine side effects may deter you from wanting to receive the vaccines in the first place, but the possible side effects are much less harmful than the diseases you could contract should you choose to avoid vaccination. CDC.gov/vaccines has many valuable resources for parents interested in learning more about vaccinating their children.
If you are concerned about the cost of vaccinating your child, he or she may be eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program which offers free vaccines to children who qualify as uninsured, under insured, Medicaid-eligible, or American Indian or Alaskan Native. Terry Reilly is a proud participant of the VFC program and would love to help you and your family get prepared for the upcoming school year.