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Immunizations Part of Back to School Preparations
Date:9/6/2007

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut Recognizes National

Immunization Awareness Month

NORTH HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is reminding parents to make sure their adolescents' immunizations are up to date as part of their back to school preparations. August is the perfect time for parents to check with their child's provider to be certain they are current on their vaccines.

"As August arrives and parents start to think about back to school preparation, it's very important that children get their recommended immunizations," said Peter Bowers, M.D., medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. Bowers noted that immunizations do not stop after high school, as many colleges now require vaccinations against meningococcal disease.

In addition, there are some new vaccines that have become recently available for adolescents. The new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for girls ages 11-12 years. The HPV vaccine is a 3-dose series administered over a six month period. Whooping cough (pertussis) is a vaccine given to young children, but immunity fades over time. The best protection for teens and pre-teens is a booster shot of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) that protects against these serious diseases. Anthem provides coverage for most vaccines. Policyholders should confirm their specific benefits by calling the toll free number listed on their insurance card.

According to Dr. Bowers, adolescents (11 to 12-year-olds) are not immunized as regularly as young children (infant to 2 year-olds) because adolescents don't visit a physician's office as frequently.

"The opportunity for medical staff to determine if a vaccination is due is not present as often with adolescents as it is with infants and young children. That's why it is important for parents to take an active role in checking about their children's immunization status," explained Bowers.

Preventive health guidelines, including a complete recommended immunization schedule, are available for both members and non-members at MyHealth@Anthem located at http://www.anthem.com.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at http://www.wellpoint.com.


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut
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