New York State Residents Can Help Play Critical Role in Protecting Local Communities by Scheduling Immunizations
Long Island City, New York (September 15, 2022) – As children head back to school, there is one thing parents and caregivers should not overlook: routine vaccinations against serious infections such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and hepatitis to name a few. Fidelis Care is dedicated to ensuring New York State residents have access to information and resources about routine immunizations to help protect children and communities against preventable illnesses.
“Pediatric vaccination has shown to reduce the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases. We want to ensure families have the information they need to make informed decisions about immunizing their children and accessing vaccines such as the flu. It is important for families to schedule their regular well-child visits and talk with their pediatricians about any questions they may have regarding childhood immunizations,” said Chief Medical Officer Vincent Marchello, M.D. “With the start of the school year around the corner, now is the perfect time to catch up on immunizations to reduce the spread of preventable illnesses.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, immunizations have declined, with all populations showing a downward trend from pre-pandemic routine immunization rates. Routine vaccinations have proven effective in preventing serious illness within schools and communities. Despite phased school reopenings and the restart of student activities in some states, the immunization rate for children in kindergarten dropped between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. This leaves thousands of young students at risk for preventable illnesses when re-entering the classroom for in-person learning.
Fidelis Care partners with providers across New York State, making it convenient for parents and caregivers to access quality care for their children and to ensure they are up to date on routine vaccinations in time for the new school year.
One of Fidelis Care’s key pediatric providers, Pediatric Associates in Syracuse, has a high rate of childhood and adolescent immunizations, and continuously focuses on the importance of immunizations as part of caring for growing children.
“Vaccinations are a proven technology and there is such great value in protecting children from preventable diseases,” said Steven Nicolais, M.D., of Pediatric Associates. “Thankfully, at Pediatric Associates, we have parents who understand the importance of vaccinating their children and recognize the role parents play in our practices’ high rate of childhood vaccinations.”
The more immunized a community is, the harder it is for preventable illnesses to spread. Immunizations not only protect the individuals who are vaccinated, they also protect everyone who interacts with them. As students prepare to return to school, it is as important as ever to ensure children are up to date with their routine immunizations to help prevent illness in children. The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 5-11 and is the best way to keep children safe from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older.
Fidelis Care continues to invest in educational opportunities around vaccinations for members through programs such as Fluvention, which provides comprehensive information about the impact of receiving an annual flu vaccine can have for the health of individuals, their families, and their community.
Overall, childhood immunizations help protect against nearly 14 serious diseases. Without this protection, it is likely communities will see a surge of serious illnesses. Individuals can learn more about specific vaccines, immunization schedules, and safety information by contacting the New York State Department of Health or referring to materials developed by the CDC by visiting cdc.gov/vaccines.
For more information about Fidelis Care services and benefits, visit https://www.fideliscare.org/.
About Fidelis Care
Fidelis Care is a mission-driven health plan offering quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life. With more than 2.5 million members statewide, Fidelis Care believes that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. Follow us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/fidelis-care, on Twitter at @fideliscare, Instagram at @fideliscare, and on Facebook at facebook.com/fideliscare. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit fideliscare.org.