5 important reasons to stay up to date on your vaccinations

April 22, 2019
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World Immunization Week is April 24-30—and it's an important reminder to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

By Regence

Photo: World Health Organization

Among the best ways to keep yourself or your children healthy is to ensure you’re up to date on vaccines. Immunization is critical to preventing the spread of infectious disease.

World Immunization Week, April 24-30, is a great time to remember the importance of immunizations and check to ensure you and your children are protected. The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates this week annually to promote the use of vaccines, widely recognized as the most successful and cost-effective of health interventions.

Most health plans cover 100% of the cost of vaccines, including for the flu, measles, pneumonia and childhood immunizations, as a preventive benefit. Regence members can check the complete preventive care list at regence.com.

“Immunizations can save your child’s life and protect others you care about,” said Dr. Drew Oliveira, an Executive Medical Director for Regence health plans. “Nobody wants to see the return of deadly diseases that have long since been eradicated or nearly so. Vaccines are safe and very effective.”

Serious side effects are rare from immunizations. And by being fully immunized, you can help prevent the spread of disease to those who are unable to be vaccinated, like infants who are too young for vaccinations, or those with allergies or who have weakened immune systems, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HHS offers five important reasons to vaccinate your child.

While there is good news about the effectiveness of immunizations, which have helped to nearly eliminate epidemics of some severe diseases like meningitis A, WHO believes there is much work to be done. If global vaccination coverage improved, more than 1.5 million more deaths could be avoided.

Despite many gains in eliminating disease, the recent measles outbreak in Oregon and Washington shows there are opportunities to improve immunization rates and education about the value of vaccines.

The WHO’s theme for 2019’s World Immunization Week is “Protected Together: Vaccines Work.” You can read more about it on the WHO’s website. And check out the CDC’s recommended schedule for immunizations so you can talk with your doctor about whether you or your children are up to date on what you need to stay healthy.

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