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Western Sky Community Care highlights the Child Immunization Program

Improving the health of clients through focused, compassionate, and coordinated care. At Western Sky Community Care, they believe that quality healthcare is best delivered locally. We spoke with Amir Wodajo, Director of Medical Management for Western Sky Community Care to find out more about the work they are doing, particularly when it comes to their childhood immunization program.

Childhood vaccines or immunizations can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent and especially now that we are living in a pandemic with COVID-19, the thought of taking your child to the doctor’s office maybe even more overwhelming and scary. They want to encourage you that maintaining your child’s well visits and vaccination schedule is still and will always be very important.

5 important reasons to vaccinate:

1. Immunizations can save your child’s life.

Over the years, vaccines have generated some controversy over safety, but no convincing evidence of harm has been found. Because of advances in medical science, your child can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines have had in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.

2. Vaccination is very safe and effective.

Scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals only give vaccines to children after a long and careful review. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

3. Immunizations protect those you love.

Children in the U.S. still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10 to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year. To help keep them safe, it is important that you and your children who can be vaccinated be fully immunized. This not only protects your family, but also helps prevent the spread of these diseases to your friends and loved ones.

4. Immunizations can save your family time and money.

A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or childcare facilities. Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care. In contrast, being vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and vaccines are fully covered by Medicaid.

5. Immunization protects future generations

Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago. For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children do not have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists. By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future.

The important thing to know is that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the possible side effects. Set your child up for a healthy future and vaccinate. Please contact your child’s healthcare provider to schedule their next well child visit.

The goal of the NM Department of Health Immunization program is to ensure that all New Mexicans are properly immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. They encourage you to visit the Department of Health website and the resources provided, including the recommended immunization schedule for your child. If you have any questions, you can also contact Western Sky Community Care at 1-844-543-8996.

Established to deliver quality healthcare in the state of New Mexico through local, regional and community-based resources, Western Sky Community Care is a Managed Care Organization and subsidiary of Centene Corporation. Western Sky Community Care exists to improve the health of its beneficiaries through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. Their approach is based on the core belief that quality healthcare is best delivered locally.

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