Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield Issues Child Immunization Reminders

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Child Immunization

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio is reminding parents to make sure their kids' immunizations are up-to- date as part of their back to school preparations.

In 2006 more than half of Ohio adolescents were not immunized against potentially dangerous viral diseases, including Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chicken Pox, according to the 2006 report from the Health Plan Employer Data Information Set (HEDIS(R)).

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"As we begin to prepare our children for school with new clothes and school supplies, it's also very important that they get their recommended immunizations," said Barry Malinowski, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in southern Ohio. Dr. Malinowski also noted that the need for immunizations continues after high school because many colleges require vaccination against meningococcal disease.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio sends immunization reminders to parents who have children up to 18 years of age. Since the beginning of the year, Anthem has sent more than 85,000 postcards to members in Ohio and surrounding states reminding them of their scheduled immunizations.

Dr. Malinowski said that adolescents (11 to 12-year-olds) are not immunized as regularly as young children (infant - age 2) because adolescents don't visit a physician's office as frequently.

"The opportunity for medical staff to determine if a vaccination is due doesn't occur as often with adolescents as with infants and young children. That's why it is important for parents to take an active role in checking their children's immunization status," Dr. Malinowski said.

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