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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

July 31, 2014

National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Are you keeping yourself and your loved ones protected from diseases that can be avoided through immunization? If for any reason you aren’t, it may be time to do so!

Immunizations are one of the key ways to staying healthy and preventing illness. This process begins at a very young age. By age two, if following the recommended vaccine schedule, a child will be vaccinated and protected from 14 serious diseases. Every vaccine is important to protect against infectious diseases like the flu, measles, and pertussis (whooping cough), which can be life threatening for newborns and young babies.

The need for vaccination does not end in childhood. Immunizations are both important and necessary throughout your adult life. As you become older, your immunity to certain diseases may wear off, and you may become vulnerable to other vaccine preventable diseases. Immunization becomes especially important for those 60 years of age and older, and for all those who have chronic conditions such asthma, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition to age, vaccines are recommended based on age, lifestyle, occupation, location of travel, medical conditions, and previous vaccines. Each year, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) updates the recommended vaccines based on the latest research on vaccine, safety, effectiveness, and patterns of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), immunizations are considered preventive care, and are therefore at a $0 cost to participants. However, the services must be provided by in-network providers. In the event you go to an out-of-network provider, you may be responsible for the co-pay, deductible, and co-insurance (if applicable). Any questions you have regarding whether an immunization is covered under preventive care can be answered by calling Empire BlueCross BlueShield at (800) 553-9603.

To view the recommended vaccine schedules, please click the link below:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

For information on preventive care as it pertains to your Empire BlueCross BlueShield coverage, please click the PDF links below:

Empire BCBS- Preventive Care Listing

Empire BCBS- Preventive Care Information