Keeping up with vaccinations

Staying on top of recommended vaccines can help protect you — and others.

With COVID-19 dominating the news for over a year now, are people still keeping up with all their other recommended routine vaccines?

Unfortunately, studies show that low vaccination rates are a growing concern for Americans of all ages. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans do a poor job of building and maintaining their immunity throughout adulthood, and fewer childhood vaccines have been given during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most medicines treat or cure diseases. Vaccines prevent disease,” says Dr. Cary Shames, chief medical officer and vice president at Sharp Health Plan. “Preventable diseases such as influenza, human papillomavirus and measles can cause hospitalization and even death. This is why getting vaccinated is so important.”

Keeping up with your shots in adulthood is essential

Even if people received all their shots as a child, they may still need some vaccines as an adult.

Dr. Shames says, “Several factors, like your age, lifestyle, health conditions and vaccines you’ve already received, determine the vaccines you need during adulthood. Your primary care doctor can recommend the ones you need based on these factors.”

Here are three important reasons why adults should be vaccinated, according to the CDC:

  1. People may still be at risk for diseases that are common in the U.S.
    Every year in the U.S., thousands of adults get sick and are hospitalized with diseases that vaccines help prevent. Being vaccinated can help to lower these risks.
  2. Recovering from illness can take longer for adults.
    Serious illnesses can affect a person’s ability to complete responsibilities, such as work or caring for loved ones. Vaccinations can help people avoid getting sick.
  3. Vaccines help protect the people around us.
    Vaccines reduce the chances of getting sick by working with the body’s natural defenses and lowering the possibility of spreading certain diseases to others.

Find out which vaccines are covered by your health insurance

All health insurance marketplace plans and most private health insurance plans must cover certain vaccines through the Affordable Care Act, so you won’t be charged a copayment or coinsurance when vaccine services are provided by an in-network provider.

For Medicare beneficiaries, Medicare Part B and Part D cover different vaccines. Check your Evidence of Coverage through your health insurance provider to learn about your specific coverage details.

No matter how healthy you are today, having a discussion with your doctor about preventive care and recommended routine vaccines can make a difference for you, your loved ones and your community.

Sharp HealthCare accepts almost all health insurance plans, including Sharp Health Plan. To learn more, or if you're ready to purchase individual insurance, Sharp Health Plan's enrollment team is available to help.

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