When the parents of young children have to go to the spice room to get their shots, it can be challenging to get them vaccinated, especially if the shots aren’t available through their health insurance.
But if your kids are too young to get vaccinated and you can’t afford to pay for it, the best thing you can do is make sure you and your family have the money for the shots and the money to get your kids vaccinated, said Nancy Rochman, a health policy analyst with the Center for American Progress.
“If you have an insurance policy that doesn’t cover vaccines, you’re not going to be able to get that shot,” she said.
The vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella is highly effective in preventing outbreaks.
It also prevents some of the most common infections: pneumonia, whooping cough, varicella, chickenpox, tetanus and a number of others.
You can get the vaccine for free by visiting your local health department or from your health insurance provider, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
You should also get your children’s shots if they have pneumonia or have been sick for a long time.
If you have children who need to go on their own, be sure to let them know that they can get shots at home if they’re homebound.
Rochmans research also shows that when a child has a serious illness, like someone with HIV, parents who get vaccinated can also get them treated at home.
“Even if you’re really concerned about getting measles, you can make sure that your child has been vaccinated,” she told ABC News.
If they don’t have insurance, Rochs recommends getting the vaccine at home and calling your local county health department for help with scheduling appointments.
You and your child should also talk about how much the shots cost, especially in the first week or two.
And if your child is allergic to measles, make sure they are on the right shots.
If a child needs a shot for a serious disease, including HIV, then he or she can get a booster shot from the CDC or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The CDC recommends that anyone who has been diagnosed with HIV should get two shots, as opposed to one shot.
“The best thing that you can really do is get a good health care provider to help with the vaccine,” Roch said.
If the shot costs more than $150 for a child under 12, and your insurance covers it, make your own arrangements.
“A lot of parents are afraid to make that decision, so they don, and they’re not making the right decision,” she added.
For more information on vaccines, visit the CDC’s vaccine information page.