Love, Protect, Immunize Your Children

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Parents are being reminded to care for their children and, "Love them. Protect them. Immunize them." Since 1994, National Infant Immunization Week has served as a call to action for parents, caregivers, and health care providers to ensure all infants are fully immunized against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases.

"One of our greatest resources is happy, healthy children," said State Health Commissioner Judy Monroe, M.D. "But good health doesn't just happen by itself. Getting your child immunized protects not only your child, but also other families in your community."

State health officials say parents without health insurance or with health insurance that doesn't cover vaccines should be aware they do have options to get their children immunized.

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Vaccines for Children (VFC) is a federal program that provides eligible children all recommended vaccines at no cost. Children from birth through 18 years of age can receive vaccines through the VFC program if they are eligible for Medicaid, without health insurance, American Indian or Alaska Native, or underinsured (insurance does not cover vaccines). State health officials say if your doctor does not participate in VFC, you can take your child to your local health department or your community or rural health center.

In addition, the state of Indiana has provided $11 million for childhood immunizations. The funding was used to purchase vaccines for local health departments and private providers to give for free to eligible children. State health officials urge parents to take advantage of the immunization resources in the state to get children vaccinated. Parents needing additional information on childhood immunizations or vaccine-preventable diseases can contact the Indiana State Department of Health at 1-800-701-0704.

"Diseases like chickenpox, measles, meningitis and pertussis are not diseases of the past," said Dr. Monroe. "They are still with us and circulating in many parts of the world, and are just a plane ride away. I urge every parent in Indiana to get your child immunized and ask that all vaccinations be recorded in Indiana's immunization registry."

The Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP) is a secure and confidential Web-based system that provides health care providers with immediate access to immunization records, helping them identify Hoosiers who are missing vital immunizations and ensure immunizations are not duplicated.

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