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A Little Pain is Worth the Long-Term Gain

Immunizations are Important for Kids and Adults

We can all agree that it’s no fun getting shots; your arm is sometimes sore for hours afterward. However, when it comes to the protection gained from immunizations, a little pain is worth it.

Immunizations are the safest way to protect yourself and your loved ones from many dangerous diseases. To help stay safe, see your doctor regularly and get recommended immunizations throughout your life.

Keeping kids safe

Immunizations protect infants, children and teens from more than 20 diseases that can result in chronic disease, hospitalization or even death. Vaccination throughout childhood is essential because vaccines help provide immunity before your child is exposed to potentially life‐threatening diseases.

The most important screenings and preventive services for children, based on recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are:

Your child’s doctor will tell you which vaccines your child needs depending on his or her age.

If your child missed a vaccination due to the COVID‐19 public health emergency, it’s not too late to get started again. Talk to your child’s doctor about how to get your child back on schedule.

Immunizations are not just for kids

Did you know that adults need vaccines, too? It’s important to keep vaccinations up to date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time. You’re also at risk for different diseases as an adult.

Three examples of vaccines that adults should get are:

  • A flu shot each year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
  • The shingles vaccine for adults age 50 and older. Shingles causes a painful rash that can last for months.
  • The pneumococcal vaccine, for adults age 65 and older. This vaccine includes protection from pneumonia, meningitis and blood infections.

You may need other vaccines based on your age, health conditions, job, lifestyle or travel habits. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about other shots you may need to stay healthy.

Immunizations are so important many are free

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) covers many vaccines at no cost to members. Sign in to check what’s covered under your plan, or call 1-800-355-BLUE (2583) or the number on the back of your member ID card.