Superior HealthPlan Encourages Early Childhood Vaccinations
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As Texans continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the rates of vaccinations and routine well-child care have declined as some parents avoid seeking medical services for their children in-person. Recent data shows a decrease in childhood vaccinations that help protect against preventable diseases. While Superior HealthPlan recognizes the health concerns of Texas communities, parents are still encouraged to schedule checkup appointments and get early vaccinations for young children.
"With lower than normal vaccination coverage among all age groups, children may be at higher risk for vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough and chicken pox," said Dr. David Harmon, Chief Medical Director at Superior. "Even during these uncertain times, it's important that we continue to encourage immunizations as these can protect children from preventable health complications."
Among children who are five months old, vaccination rates have declined from approximately two-thirds (66.3%) of children from 2016 through 2019 to fewer than half (49.7%) in May 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also reports similar trends among older children, with non-influenza vaccination rates decreasing by 21.5% for children under 18 years old.
A vaccine or immunization is a way to build a person's natural immunity to a disease before getting sick. This keeps the disease from spreading. Below are three reasons vaccines are an important part of family and public health even during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Immunizations can save a child's life: Some diseases that once caused serious illness or death have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.
- Vaccinations are safe and effective: Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors and healthcare professionals.
- Immunization protects others: Vaccinations protect other people, including family members, friends and grandparents as well as those who are unable to get vaccines due to other health concerns.
In-person visits are still an option as hospitals and health clinics across Texas have been regularly updating safety procedures to help avoid coronavirus transmission. Throughout the pandemic, healthcare workers have continued to support communities with their health needs using personal protective equipment to safeguard themselves and patients, so parents can feel comfortable scheduling necessary doctor appointments for their children.
While vaccines must be done in person, members may be able to schedule a virtual appointment with their primary care physicians via telehealth services. Superior members can get medical advice, a prescription, and in some cases a diagnosis, all by video or phone.
Superior can help members connect with their primary care physician, either through in-person visits or telehealth. Members can use the Find a Provider tool or call Superior at 1-800-783-5386.
About Superior HealthPlan
Founded in 1999, Superior HealthPlan is a managed care company that delivers quality health care throughout Texas. Committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time, Superior supports active local involvement in all 254 Texas counties with more than 4,000 employees in 9 offices throughout the state. Superior is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services. More information on Superior can be found at www.SuperiorHealthPlan.com.
SOURCE Superior HealthPlan