Fidelis Care Encourages Parents to Vaccinate Their Children

REGO PARK, N.Y., April 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fidelis Care, the New York State Catholic Health Plan, urges parents to ensure their children's vaccinations are up to date during National Infant Immunization Week, April 16-23.

"Vaccinations are one of the most important ways to protect children from serious diseases," said Fidelis Care Chief Medical Officer Sanjiv Shah, MD, MPH. "They are safe, effective, and essential to giving children a healthy start in life."

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to raise awareness about the importance of childhood immunizations, National Infant Immunization Week is an annual observance that stresses the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases.

The required series of vaccinations before age 2 protect children against such diseases as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia, polio, hepatitis B, influenza, chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. In addition to the vaccinations, Fidelis Care recommends that children receive six wellness checkups from their pediatrician, as well as one dental checkup by their second birthday. As part of their pediatric checkups, children also should be screened for lead exposure. A helpful guide about immunizations can be found on the Fidelis Care website,

To raise awareness about the benefits of immunizations, Fidelis Care conducts a month-long "Shots or Spots" campaign that features advertising, public relations, and social media messages, as well as on-site workshops at local pediatric offices and other health facilities. To find a local event, visit

"Shots or Spots' offers valuable advice to parents dealing with any anxiety that they or their children may experience surrounding immunizations," Dr. Shah said. "At Fidelis Care, we recognize the importance of protecting children and communities through vaccinations, and are proud to promote awareness through this campaign."

There are over 181,000 uninsured children under the age of 19 in New York State. Through New York State's Child Health Plus program, almost every child in the State is entitled to free or low-cost health insurance coverage. Fidelis Care is the largest Child Health Plus plan in the State with over 80,000 members. Parents who do not have insurance for their children, and those with residency concerns who do not qualify for coverage under Medicaid or Child Health Plus, can have their children vaccinated at a local community health clinic or Federally Qualified Health Center. Vaccines are made available through public health initiatives such as New York State's Vaccines for Children program to ensure that every child is protected against infectious diseases.

For information on Child Health Plus, or any of Fidelis Care's quality, affordable health insurance programs, please call 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit

About Fidelis Care:

As the New York State Catholic Health Plan, Fidelis Care offers quality, affordable coverage for children and adults of all ages and at all stages of life, including products available through NY State of Health: The Official Health Plan Marketplace. With 1.4 million members Statewide, Fidelis Care was founded on the belief that all New Yorkers should have access to affordable, quality health insurance. For more information, call Fidelis Care at 1-888-FIDELIS (1-888-343-3547) or visit

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A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Maria J. Ramirez, Downstate Public Relations Manager,, (718) 393-6360 and Allie Abbate, Upstate Public Relations Manager (716) 564-6295

Source: Fidelis Care New York