The Importance of Vaccinations By Dr. Blair Duddy

VaccinationsWith the school year quickly approaching, it is important to ensure that students are up to date on their immunizations. Proof of immunization is a prerequisite for enrollment in all Nevada public schools for all non-exempt students. Immunizing your child is extremely important, especially when they are preparing to enter a school environment where they will be exposed to a large population of people and face a greater risk of contracting harmful diseases that could cause serious health issues.

Under state law, children can be exempt from vaccination requirements if their parents or guardians have submitted a written statement to a school’s governing body indicating their religious beliefs prohibit immunizations. Medical exemptions are also permitted.

A recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported that childhood immunizations save thousands of lives and billions of dollars by preventing disease. Immunizations are integral public health tools, as they protect the vaccinated individual and limit the spread of infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among children born during 1994 to 2013, immunizations will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths, while saving $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs.

Immunizations serve to protect children and their classmates from the spread of infectious diseases, including measles, mumps and whooping cough. With more than 315,000 students expected to enroll in Clark County schools for the upcoming school year, vaccinations serve as the most effective preventative measure.

Disease prevention is a key component of our philosophy at HealthCare Partners Nevada. Our mission is to make sure that our youngest and most vulnerable patients are immunized and protected. HealthCare Partners Nevada participates in the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, which helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians might be unable to afford them. To find out if your local HealthCare Partners Nevada provider participates in the VFC program, or to consult with a pediatrician about immunizations for your child, visit