What Parents Need To Know
This week is National Infant Immunization Week. Infant immunizations have had an enormous impact on infant and child mortality rates.
Infant immunizations are a routine part of infant and child wellness visits . Observing your infant’s recommended vaccination schedule protects them from preventable diseases, many of which have serious or even fatal outcomes.
If your baby isn’t born just yet, researching the different immunizations ahead of time is important. Your newborn’s first visit is a perfect time to discuss each immunization in greater detail with your baby’s doctor. If you already have a baby, you can always check-in with your health provider to confirm that your baby’s immunization records are current and to schedule the next appointment to keep your baby on track.
Important Things to Know About Infant Immunizations
In the meantime, there are some important things to know about immunizations.
- Immunizations protect infants and toddlers from contracting 14 different preventable diseases.
- Prior to the 1950s and the measles vaccine, nearly every child got the measles, and roughly 2 out of every 1,000 children died from the disease. Now, most of our doctors have never seen a case of measles at all, unless they’ve worked outside the U.S. in countries where immunizations aren’t as prevalent.
- Health experts estimate immunizations prevent about 20 million disease-related illnesses, which prevents about 42,000 unnecessary deaths.
From the time children are born, until they turn two years old, those who are current in their immunizations are protected from the following diseases:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Pneumococcal disease
- Rubella (German measles)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
You can Click Here to read the 2017 CDC’s list of recommended immunizations for children from birth through six-years old.
Vaccinations Are Free or Very Low Cost
Never let financial struggles get in the way of immunizing your infant. Immunizations are almost always 100% covered by health insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid. If you don’t have insurance, odds are you are eligible for coverage through Vaccines for Children (VFC).
This program covers infants and children through age 18 if they:
- Qualify for Medicaid
- Don’t have insurance coverage
- Are American Indian or an Alaskan Native
- Are underinsured
If you lack insurance coverage and/or aren’t able to afford immunizations, the staff here at the Family Wellness Center will be happy to work with you to see if you are eligible for VFC. Otherwise, we will do what we can so that every member of your family can be vaccinated for free or at a very low cost.
You can Hold Your Child While They’re Being Immunized
There is absolutely no reason why a parent shouldn’t be able to hold their baby or even nurse their baby, while the baby being vaccinated. Most of the time, infant immunizations are given on the meaty part of the thigh, so it’s easy to get your baby into a comforting position with mama, papa, grandma, or the primary care provider without blocking access to the immunization site.
Read How to Hold Your Child During Vaccines for more information.
Immunizations Are About More Than Just Any One Baby
While not all of immunization-preventable diseases are fatal, immunizing your child helps to protect those who are more vulnerable to catching and/or transmitting the disease to others. Chickenpox is a prime example of this. While the disease is rarely fatal in children or adults (although adult chickenpox are more serious), it can cause serious birth defects or even a miscarriage when contracted by a woman who is pregnant and who has never been immunized or contracted chicken pox on her own.
Once children are immunized according to the most recent CDC guidelines, they are both protected and protectors, preventing serious and deadly diseases from spreading to those least likely to successfully fight them off.
Are you ready to schedule your infant’s next immunization appointment? Have an immunization card that is confusing or doesn’t seem up to date? Have you moved out of town and are looking to catch up with your infant or children’s wellness visits?
Contact us at the Family Wellness Center and we’ll get you in for an appointment. Our compassionate and friendly team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and the front office staff are all eager to ensure you have all the information you need to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about immunizations.
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