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Don’t skip the vaccines recommended for you and your family

Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwyane Wade join nonprofit Vaccinate Your Family and Merck to talk about one of the best ways to protect our families — regular doctor visits and staying up to date with recommended vaccines.

Don’t Skip Recommended Vaccinations

Gabrielle Union-Wade encourages parents to talk to their child’s doctor to stay up to date with well-visits and recommended vaccinations. Adults should also ask their doctor or pharmacist about any recommended vaccinations they may need.

The pandemic caused all of us to skip things – even important things like taking our children to their regular doctor visits and getting recommended vaccines.

One report estimated
9 million

doses of certain childhood vaccines may have been missed in 2020 alone

With up to a

drop in these vaccinations between January and September 2020

Despite the potential benefit of vaccines, at least

of adults are missing one or more recommended vaccines

Vaccinating young children, preteens, and adults according to the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule is key to helping them build their immune defenses before they may be exposed to potentially harmful diseases. Don’t Skip is a national public health campaign that encourages parents to schedule their kids’ well-visits and people of all ages to stay up to date – or get caught up – on recommended vaccinations.

“The health and wellness of my family is my number one priority. Like so many other families, we’ve had to make some adjustments over the past year, but we didn’t skip our doctor visits and recommended vaccinations.”

Gabrielle Union-Wade

Don't wait

Families have started to resume some of the activities they did before the pandemic and many children have returned to in-person school. Don’t wait to schedule well-visits and get recommended vaccinations.

“Now is the time for people of all ages to be talking with their doctor about how to stay up to date with their recommended vaccinations, and it’s especially important for preteens and young children.”

Amy Pisani, MS
Executive Director of Vaccinate Your Family

Staying safe at the doctor

Doctors and other health care providers are working hard to make office visits as safe as possible. So, pick up the phone and call the doctor. Not sure what to ask? Here’s a list of questions you can ask the doctor about keeping you and your family healthy:

Has my child missed any well-visits or recommended vaccinations during the pandemic?
Is my child due to get any recommended vaccinations soon?
Have I missed any recommended vaccinations or am I due to get any soon?
Does the office have separate hours for sick patients and well-visits?
What are the guidelines for masking and social distancing? (For example, waiting in the car before entering, limiting number of family members at appointments, checking in by phone)

Help Paying for Vaccines

Don’t skip recommended vaccines – if your child doesn’t have health insurance, there are programs to help.

If your child needs health insurance, they may be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is a state-run program that works with the federal government to offer free or low cost health insurance for kids and teens. To find information about the CHIP programs in your state, call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669). 

teacher and students wearing masks

Vaccines for Children (VFC) is a federal program that offers vaccines at no cost to children who qualify. Health care providers enrolled in the program give the vaccines.

There are more than 44,000 health care providers nationwide who take part, including doctors, community health clinics, and school-based clinics.

For help finding out how to pay for vaccines for everyone in your family, visit vaccinateyourfamily.org/paying-for-vaccines.

mother and son visiting the doctor

If your child qualifies for VFC, find a provider:

  1. Ask your child’s doctor if they are a VFC provider
  2. If they are not a VFC provider, get help to find a VFC provider in one of these ways:

Read CDC’s VFC Fact Sheet for Parents for more information, such as if your child qualifies – in English and Spanish.