As schools prepare to reopen in the coming weeks, Fidelis Care encourages parents to speak with their family doctor to ensure their families’ are on schedule with vaccinations.
Vaccines offer safe and effective protection against many infectious diseases by enhancing the body’s natural defenses. By exposing the body to a weakened form of a virus or inert pieces of a virus, the body can learn to fight the virus and prevent the disease. Should the vaccinated individual contract the disease, the effects of the disease are often greatly reduced due to the immunity developed from the inoculation.
“Through aggressive vaccination programs, diseases that once claimed the lives of millions are now largely a thing of the past,” said Dr. Sanjiv Shah, Fidelis Care’s chief medical officer. “However, several infectious diseases persist because some individuals forego recommended vaccinations and boosters, placing themselves and their community at risk.”
For many, the choice not to vaccinate is the result of the lack of adequate health insurance. Fidelis Care believes every New Yorker has the right to quality, affordable health insurance that is provided with dignity and respect. Fidelis Care’s government insurance programs provide members with access to routine and preventive care, including recommended vaccinations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following schedule of vaccinations, unless an individual has a known medical condition that would make it dangerous to receive the vaccination.
Annual vaccination against the flu is recommended for everyone over the age of six months, including pregnant women.
The recommended series of vaccinations for children under the age of two years includes diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumonia, meningitis, polio, hepatitis B, influenza, chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella.
All 11- and 12-year-olds should receive booster vaccinations to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and meningitis. The CDC recommends that all 11- and 12-year-olds receive the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The CDC also recommends that men and women between the ages of 19 and 26 be vaccinated against HPV if they were not vaccinated previously.
Adults over the age of 19 should speak with their doctor to determine whether they need to receive boosters for tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), measles, mumps and rubella.
Individuals over the age of 60 should be vaccinated against zoster (shingles), and those over 65 should be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.
Some adults, depending upon age and exposure risks, may require additional vaccinations to protect against diseases such as hepatitis A and B and meningitis.
Fidelis Care encourages everyone to speak with their doctor about which vaccinations they should receive.
Fidelis Care offers free or low-cost health insurance through New York State’s Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus and Medicaid Managed Care programs. Members are covered for regular checkups, preventive care, routine screenings, hospital and emergency care, eye exams, dental care and more. In addition, Fidelis Care also offers a variety of benefit options for seniors through Fidelis Medicare Advantage, Dual Advantage, Medicaid Advantage Plus and Fidelis Care at Home programs, available in certain counties.
For more information, call Fidelis Care toll-free at 1-888-343-3547 or visit www.fideliscare.org.