As a result of COVID-19, many children and adolescents have missed check-ups and recommended childhood vaccinations.

Vaccines are still the more accessible, cost-effective, and safe way to prevent diseases and boost and fortify their immune system. It is not too late to get caught up.

As a parent, you want to set up your children for a successful and healthy adulthood. Vaccines are universally recommended for all adolescents, ages 11 to 18. So, what can you do next?

Catch Up on Recommended Vaccinations Today

It only takes a well-child visit to get your children caught up with their vaccinations.

It is safe to visit your doctor’s office or local clinic. They are operated by health care professionals who have strict rules to protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19.

There are various universally recommended vaccines for your children. Hepatitis B, the second dose of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR2), and varicella are just a few. Don’t worry! You don’t have to have them memorized. You can find the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule here.

Your child’s pediatrician, doctor, or nurse are your best allies. They can help you figure out if you have missed well-child visits and any of the recommended vaccines for your children.

You are responsible for your
child’s health.

As child care centers, schools, colleges, camps, and other venues start to open, it will be more common to have the required vaccinations for attendance.

As their advocate, staying informed is essential. Increase your awareness by asking questions, reading credible sources, and speaking with subject matter experts.

Time is of the essence. Be proactive and schedule your children’s vaccines now.

Diseases like measles and whooping cough are highly contagious, and they can be very serious and very expensive to treat.

Your child’s doctor, nurse, or health care provider can help you determine what vaccines you need to schedule, the cost, and the alternatives for payment.

Getting your children caught up with their recommended vaccines also means considering the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 may be one of the reasons for getting your children vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children and adolescents catch up on all vaccinations that may have been delayed during the pandemic.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all eligible children (ages 12 and older), teens, family, and household members be vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also supports giving other childhood and adolescent immunizations at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines, particularly for children and teens who are behind on their immunizations.

Therefore, right now is the right time to get your children caught up with their vaccines. Contact your health care provider for guidance on which vaccine they need.

Get free or low-cost vaccines for your children and prevent expensive treatments.

Finances should not force you to choose between buying food, paying rent, or ensuring your children's health and wellbeing. There are programs that can alleviate some of the financial burden and help prevent the high costs of treating preventable illnesses.

If you and your family are enrolled in Medicaid, or if you are uninsured or underinsured, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides vaccines to eligible children at no cost. Ask your child’s doctor or nurse to see if they are a VFC provider.

Your family may also qualify for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which covers many childhood vaccines.

Local pharmacies may also have discount programs like GoodRx which offer many vaccine discounts.

Local health departments and community health centers may also offer low-cost vaccinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Asking questions is the best way to find and understand your options. The answer to these questions may give you the information you need to know about what to do next. Here are some questions you can ask your child’s pediatrician, nurse, or health care provider:

  • Are vaccines safe?
  • What is the immune system?
  • What is the role or the purpose of the vaccines?
  • Why should I get my children vaccinated?
  • Can vaccines cause the disease that they are supposed to prevent?
  • What are the possible side effects of vaccines?
  • What are the risks of not vaccinating?
  • Why do adolescents need vaccines?

We Are Here For You

If are still making a decision right now, stop and ask yourself: of the two available options - getting vaccines or not - which one do I want to remember as an essential part of this season of my life and the story of my family? Make it the one that you’re proud to share and talk about.

Resources in Illinois

1. Illinois Department of Public Health

2. Vaccines for Children Program

3. National Vaccine Information Center

4. Find a Vaccine Provider in Illinois 

5. Vaccine Schedule for Ages 0 – 6

6. Vaccine Schedule for Ages 7 – 18

Local Area Resources

1. Find a Covid-19 vaccine provider:

2. Immunization Information for Children

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