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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August 2, 2021

Every year, local and national health officials such as the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) and the New York Department of Health (“NYDH”) observe August as a time to recognize the importance of staying up-to-date on your vaccinations. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the message is more important than ever.

Immunizations are a safe and reliable way of staying healthy and preventing illness. This process begins at a very young age. By age two, if following the recommended vaccine schedule, a child may be protected from 14 serious diseases1. Vaccines are important in protecting against infectious diseases like the flu, measles, and pertussis (whooping cough), which can be life threatening for newborns and young babies.

As you become older, your immunity to certain diseases can weaken, and you may become vulnerable to other diseases that can be prevented with a vaccine. Immunization becomes especially important for those who are age 60 and older, and for all those who have chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease. Individuals in these categories are considered “high-risk” and are most susceptible to the damaging effects of diseases, especially newer threats like COVID-19. In addition to age, vaccines are recommended based on lifestyle, occupation, location of travel, medical conditions, and previous vaccines. For those who are not immunized, the risk of spreading and contacting infectious diseases can be deadly.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 50,000 adults died every year from vaccine-preventable illnesses2. Each year, the CDC and FDA work together to update the recommended vaccines based upon the latest research on safety, effectiveness, and patterns of vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, the CDC and FDA encourages that all individuals who are 12 and older receive the COVID-19 vaccination as well as the annual flu vaccination, even if you’ve been diagnosed in the past.

Thankfully, it is now easier than ever to get vaccinated. Around the country, pharmacies, grocery stores, clinics, and community centers have same-day appointments and walk in availability at thousands of locations for the COVID-19 and flu vaccines, at no cost. For other vaccinations, services can be done by a healthcare provider. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (“ACA”), immunizations are considered preventive care, and are therefore $0 cost to participants. However, the services must be provided by in-network providers. In the event you go to an out-of-network provider, you may be responsible for the co-pay, deductible, and co-insurance (if applicable).

Although no vaccine is 100% effective, it is the first step in protecting yourself and others from serious illness. To learn more, please visit

Useful Resources
Adult Vaccine Assessment Tool – Answer a few questions to find out which vaccinations are recommended for you
2021 Immunization schedules
Workplace COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
Vaccine FAQ

Any questions you have regarding whether an immunization is covered under preventive care can be answered by calling Empire BlueCross BlueShield at (844) 416-6387.

For information on preventive care as it pertains to your Empire BlueCross BlueShield coverage, please visit

You can also check out the online flyer below
Empire BCBS- Preventive Care Listing


1  How Vaccines Strengthen Your Baby’s Immune System. (2019, August 05). Retrieved July 21, 2021, from
2 10 Reasons To Get Vaccinated. (2021, March). Retrieved from