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The Importance of Vaccines Of all of the thousands of health care innovations, there is one standalone winner when it comes to the innovation that has saved the most lives—vaccines. Vaccines are incredibly safe and effective in protecting children and adults from deadly diseases. There have been claims stating that vaccines are dangerous, but in fact the converse is true—the health benefits of vaccination are great. Research has been conducted on the safety of vaccines for decades and the rate of having severe infections is so low, it’s too small to calculate the risk (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). One sign that vaccinations are critical for public health is the prevalence of individual health insurance plans that encourage vaccination. Most health care benefits include most vaccinations. Preventative care, where vaccinations fall, are becoming ever-more important. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to save money by preventing illness in the first place. Here are some reasons why you should contact your personal health insurance provider for information about getting vaccinated. The most common vaccinations can help prevent diseases.

Most Common Vaccinations Prevent Shingles Shingles attacks specific nerves, causing painful burns and blisters on your skin. About one in three adults will have at least one shingles outbreak in their lifetime. Thankfully when the shingles vaccine is given early on long term nerve pain can be avoided. Pneumonia Although its prevalence has reduced dramatically over the decades, pneumonia is the sixth leading cause of death. People are especially susceptible to pneumonia shortly after having the flu. One of the best ways to prevent pneumonia is to get a yearly flu vaccine. There are also vaccinations available should you contract pneumonia.

Flu Although the flu, is still a fairly common malady it is far less prevalent and disastrous than it was years ago. The flu vaccine is updated each year to combat the most recent strain of the influenza virus. Although the flu vaccine varies every year, most years the vaccine is 70 to 90 percent effective in preventing the flu.

Polio The polio virus was rampant decades ago. President Franklin D. Roosevelt has been recognized to have suffered from polio, and was paralyzed as a result. Thankfully as a result of vaccinations, polio has been virtually eradicated from the United States. However, it is still alive and well in Africa, India and many Asian countries; travelers should exercise caution and should seek appropriate preventative care if they will be traveling to countries with the polio virus. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella—oh my! The vaccination program to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella has been so successful many people have never seen a case of any of these diseases. Parents should not become lax in vaccinating their children for these diseases, because they are becoming more rare—it is only because of vaccination that they have become rare. Whether you have group health insurance or a personal health insurance plan, contact your provider to understand the health benefits of vaccination and how you can receive the preventative you and your family need. Photo Credit: Gates Foundation, Alysha Naples, Mark Sinderson

The importance of vaccines  

Of all of the thousands of health care innovations, there is one standalone winner when it comes to the innovation that has saved the most l...

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