The Importance of Immunizations
All children should be
immunized at regular health care visits, beginning at birth. Immunizations are
very important in keeping children healthy. The
and adolescent schedule urges vaccinations starting at birth through 24
months of age, with boosters and catch-up vaccines continuing through the
teenage years and into adulthood. By immunizing, our children are protected against the potentially devastating effects of vaccine-preventable diseases. No
child should ever have to endure the effects of vaccine preventable diseases simply because he or she was not vaccinated on time. Catastrophic effects of
childhood diseases can lead to life-long illness or even death.
The United States has
experienced outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in the past several years
- diseases that imperil our children's health and future. The primary cause for
the 1989 - 1991 outbreak of measles and resurgence of other vaccine preventable
diseases has not been the failure of the vaccines to protect, but rather the
failure of the health care system to deliver the vaccines to the children at the
Parents must not wait until their children enter school to immunize them. Young children are more likely to have complications or die from vaccine-preventable diseases than older children. Immunization is the most cost-effective preventive health measure.
The Vaccine for Children Program (VFC) provides vaccinations to children who do not have health insurance or children who are insured but the insurance does not cover immunizations (underinsured). These children are eligible to receive federally funded vaccines at public sites, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics.
Where To Go For Vaccines
Ask your doctor or clinic if they are a VFC provider. If they are, you may go to them for the shots your child needs. Call: 1-877 PA-HEALTH
(1-877-724-3258) to find a VFC-enrolled provider near you.