As child advocates, we want to do everything in our power to assure that Kentucky children are healthy and protected against preventable and potentially deadly diseases. A simple and important step in that process is getting children vaccinated.
We know questions may arise from parents, guardians, and caretakers around why you should get your child vaccinated and how many vaccines does my child need. National Immunization Awareness Month is an opportune time to highlight the importance of vaccinations at all ages.
Why should my child receive routine vaccinations?
- Vaccinations can save your child’s life. Certain diseases that harmed children in the past have been either eliminated or are close to being completed eradicated. Unfortunately, outbreaks may re-emerge if we stop vaccinating against them. Vaccines keep children free from dangerous, preventable diseases, viruses, and bacteria, such as chickenpox, mumps, measles, and whooping cough that continue to spread in the United States.
- Vaccinations protect not only your own children, but also your friends, family, and other members of the community. Children who are not vaccinated can spread diseases to others, particularly to those who are too young to be vaccinated, or people with weakened immune systems, such as infants, pregnant women, and elderly grandparents.
- Vaccines are both safe and effective. Doctors, scientists, and reputable medical organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend protecting children with routine vaccinations.
How many vaccines does my child need?
- You can review what vaccinations are required for your child’s grade level by checking the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services website.
- Call your child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor to ask them questions or tell them you’re planning to have your child vaccinated.
- To protect children from COVID-19 and potential variants, Kentucky Youth Advocates provided a checklist for parents and caregivers for child COVID-19 vaccinations, including resources and incentive information from Kentucky’s Managed Care Organizations.
Upcoming opportunities to hear more about immunization and children:
- Watch or listen to a recording of the August 25th Advocate Virtual Forum as we discussed routine immunizations and COVID vaccinations for Kentucky kids, including trends and barriers to access, with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Medical Association, and Aetna Better Health of Kentucky Supporting Kentucky Youth (SKY) Program.
- The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky will be hosting their 2021 Howard L. Bost Memorial Virtual Health Policy Forum on Tuesday, September 21st on Kentucky vaccine policy including myths, messengers, and messages. Register here.
Throughout August, let’s continue to celebrate National Immunization Awareness Month by highlighting the importance of routine vaccinations and getting eligible children vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine to protect their family, friends, and community!
I appreciate that you mentioned that vaccinations can help protect your child and help protect your friends and family as well. My sister is going to be having her first child soon and is wondering what type of vaccination schedule they need to be on. I will tell her to ask a pediatrician so that she can make sure her child is on the right schedule so that everyone can be better protected.