Knowing the facts about immunizations is imperative to the health of you and your family. Last month, the CDC celebrated the 25th anniversary of National Infant Immunization Week, an annual observance dedicated to highlighting the importance of immunizations for infants and celebrating the achievements of immunization programs. From birth, children are at risk of many diseases that can be prevented with vaccinations. It’s important for parents to stick to an immunization schedule for their children – and because of these schedules, many of the diseases that vaccinations help prevent against are considered rare.
Before a vaccine was introduced in 1963, there were 4 million measles cases with 48,000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths throughout the U.S. every year. The measles virus is one of the most infectious diseases known to humans but by 2000, because of widespread vaccinations leading to the reduction of outbreaks and deaths, the virus was declared eliminated in the U.S.
However, recent news of measles outbreaks is making headlines each week. The U.S. is seeing a record number of measles cases and according to the World Health Organization, there has been a 300 percent rise globally in measles cases so far this year, compared to the same period in 2018. Already in 2019, health officials reported the highest number of measles cases since 1994, with more than 700 people infected.
In recognition of National Infant Immunization Week and the importance of immunization programs, here are four reasons why everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated, from the CDC.
- Vaccines are safe and effective – Receiving vaccines may involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, but that temporary inconvenience protects you and your children.
- Vaccines protect your loved ones – Not everyone is able to be completely vaccinated, as some babies are too young and people with certain allergies, illnesses or compromised immune systems may not be able to receive vaccinations. To help keep them safe, it’s important that anyone around them who can be vaccinated, are.
- Vaccines save time and money –A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be kept out of schools or daycare facilities. A prolonged illness can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills, or long-term disability care. In comparison, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance. If you need help navigating pricing for vaccines or prescription drugs, visit communitycaresrx.com
- Vaccines protect future generations –Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations before. For example, your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. If we keep vaccinating now, parents in the future will have one less thing to worry about.
New legislation in state governments may play a role in vaccination requirements in the future, but there is no time like present to protect your family from preventable diseases.
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