COVID-19 and Vaccine Information
Masks are still required in healthcare settings per CDC and state health department guidelines.
Now is a good time to make sure you and your family are as protected as possible from several diseases — not just the flu and COVID-19.
Because new variants of the flu, COVID-19 and other diseases continue to show up in communities, it’s good to make sure you and your family have received all recommended immunizations.
Along with the protection you get from yearly flu shots and COVID-19 boosters, vaccination can give you peace of mind that you and your loved ones are shielded from many other serious conditions.
Diphtheria, measles, mumps, whooping cough and other serious illnesses aren’t as common as they once were because immunizations helped millions of Americans avoid them.
Lessli Putney, MD, FAAP, a PeaceHealth pediatrician in Bellingham, Washington, knows well how terrible some of these diseases were (and still are).
Early in her career, before some current vaccines became available, she saw sick babies in her care develop hearing loss and seizure disorders due to infections now largely prevented by vaccines. The experience made her passionate about the power of immunizations.
“Because families don’t personally know someone affected by an illness, there’s a perception now that we are no longer at risk. But those infections we vaccinate against have not gone away,” Dr. Putney said, “The only way to protect everyone is to follow the recommended immunization schedule.”
The pandemic prevented some of us from getting routine shots and screenings. That has put our communities at greater risk of getting sick.
Now is the time to strengthen your immunity and defend yourself from all kinds of diseases — especially those easily prevented by vaccinations. Here’s how.
If you’re all caught up, that’s great — you’ve done your part to protect yourself and those around you. To stay on track in the future, take note of when your next recommended shot is due or ask your primary care provider to send a reminder.
If you don’t know what you or your family need, see if you can find your vaccination records — either on paper or online.
If you have trouble verifying what shots you or other members of your family have received, read tips on finding vaccination records.
Talk with your primary care provider about shots recommended for you or your family. PeaceHealth providers follow CDC immunization schedules, keeping in mind each individual patient’s health history, allergies and risk factors.
You might wonder what immunizations are required. This largely depends on your activities. You’ll want to become familiar with policies or requirements by your family’s school(s), workplaces, travel companies (airlines, cruise lines) or organizations where you volunteer or spend time.
Finally, if you plan to travel outside the U.S., let your provider know. They can recommend vaccines for illnesses that are common in the place you’re visiting.
PeaceHealth clinics usually have vaccines on hand. You can schedule an appointment to receive your shots or ask if immunizations can be included in a regular checkup for yourself or a family member.
Local pharmacies are another convenient option. Many stores offer walk-in service for a variety of shots. If you choose this route, send your primary care provider a note via My PeaceHealth or ask the pharmacy to share with your clinic details to note in your medical record.