If you have been putting off vaccinating your child for whatever reason, consider that the vaccines they need may get a lot more expensive, and you will likely have far fewer options for where and how to get them after your child turns 18. If your children ever travel abroad, they're going to need to have these routine vaccinations done because all vaccine-preventable diseases except for smallpox continue to circulate in many parts of the world. At Away Clinic, we've received quite a few calls from mothers of future full-time missionaries who haven't received any vaccines at all. Now that they're traveling abroad they have to get caught up on all of them. And since they're 18, it's expensive and time-consuming to find good deals.
Vaccines for children tend to be free even in the U.S.
Insurance plans are required by the Affordable Care Act to cover routine vaccines for children. If you lack adequate insurance, there are also free options in most cases. In Arizona, for example, you can get free vaccines for children--but not adults--at the county clinic.
Why get your kids vaccinated?
Protects against serious illnesses: Vaccines are designed to protect children from a range of serious illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, and chickenpox. These diseases can be life-threatening, and getting vaccinated greatly reduces the risk of your child getting sick. There is a worldwide resurgence in polio occurring. A man was partially paralyzed from this terrible disease in New York in 2022.
Prevents outbreaks: Vaccines not only protect your child, but also help prevent the spread of diseases to others. When a large number of people in a community are vaccinated, it becomes harder for the disease to spread, which helps prevent outbreaks.
Safe and effective: Vaccines have been rigorously tested and are proven to be safe and effective in preventing diseases. The risks associated with getting vaccinated are minimal compared to the risks of getting sick from the diseases they prevent.
Required for school and daycare: In many countries, vaccines are required for children to attend school and daycare. By getting your child vaccinated, you are ensuring that they meet these requirements and can continue to attend school and daycare without interruption.
More travel options. If you're not fully vaccinated it is extremely unsafe to travel to many parts of the world, especially developing and tropical countries. Why limit yourself?
Overall, getting your kids vaccinated is an important step in keeping them healthy and protected from serious illnesses. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines your child needs and when they should receive them. If you're behind on your vaccines, the CDC does have a catch-up schedule that is very helpful.