On March 11, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 70 confirmed cases of mumps throughout multiple counties in the state.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus and typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Vaccinations significantly reduce the chances of a person acquiring mumps and limit the spread of the disease.
“Vaccines are our number one resource in health promotion and disease prevention,” said Kim Burns, Mercy APRN-FNP-c. “Keeping your children up to date with their immunizations keeps your child, and everyone around them, safer from preventable disease.
It’s important that parents and guardians be well informed about how and where to get children under the age of 19 years vaccinated to avoid costly, out-of-pocket expenses,” Burns added.
Mercy Clinics in Fort Scott, Arma and Pleasanton, as well as Mercy Convenient Care, are enrolled in the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program, known as VFC. VFC provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. For example, a child insured through KanCare (T19), underinsured (commercial insurance that doesn’t cover immunizations), Native Americans and children with no insurance coverage (self pay) will qualify to receive their shots free of charge at a clinic that offers VFC benefits. All vaccinations for children, even those younger than school age, are eligible for VFC coverage.
Although all Mercy Clinics in Bourbon, Crawford and Linn Counties are registered with the VFC program, not all clinics are so it’s recommended to ask non-Mercy providers if they offer VFC benefits prior to receiving vaccinations. The immunizations, if not covered by insurance or VFC, could cost between $130 and $140 per dose. Children’s immunization that are self pay will be charged a minimal-cost injection fee, but not the full cost of the dose.
In addition to reducing the spread of mumps, all public schools require that students supply an immunization record and that all vaccinations are up to date.
Vaccinations are recommended for patients based on age and vaccination history. Please talk with your health care provider to learn more about which shots your child may need for the coming school year.