Published On: Sat, Jul 25th, 2020

Pediatricans Advise Families To Continue Routine Immunizations Amidst The Pandemic

Many families’ lives have been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This has led to a decline in the number of families keeping up with their childrens’ routine immunizations. Pediatricians however, say that  despite the pandemic, parents should not delay or avoid getting their children vaccinated. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19, such as stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, have led to decreased use of routine preventive medical services, including immunization services.”

Dr. Sarah Kathleen Wood the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University says, “I believe that we must do everything we can to continue to provide children with their routine immunizations so that our children are protected from preventable illness and we keep our communities safe from unnecessary outbreaks. Particularly as school’s reopen and the winter flu season is upon us, routine immunizations will prevent diseases that could lead to avoidable medical visits, hospitalizations and further strain to the healthcare system.”

Many parents and families are now contemplating visiting a doctor’s office due to exposure of COVID-19. 

“The recent decline in routine immunizations is likely because families are afraid and many are avoiding going to their doctors’ offices. That is no surprise given everything that is going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we need to encourage them to bring their children in for vaccines so we can try to keep all children healthy and safe from preventable illnesses,” said Dr. Wood. 

In order to settle concerns, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidance on how Pediatricians should administer vaccines and provide pediatric care during the pandemic.

The AAP notes that “Pediatricians should also inform families about the strategies already implemented in primary care medical home offices to assure safety.” 

Both parents and pediatricians have a part in ensuring the health and safety of children. Communication on both parts has been able to alleviate the reservations that parents may have about visiting the office during the pandemic. 

“Parents should reach out to their pediatrician or healthcare provider to ask about how to stay on track or catch-up on their vaccine schedule. Parents can discuss their child’s needs and safety concerns so their questions can be answered before they come into the office. Information can be also be obtained through your local health department or health centers,” Dr. Wood says. 

The CDC notes that” Ensuring immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and reducing the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza season.” 

For information regarding vaccination guidance during the pandemic, vist https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pandemic-guidance/index.html.

About the Author

- I am currently a junior at Florida Atlantic University majoring in multimedia studies with a journalism concentraion. I am a Newsroom Writer for the Boca Raton Tribune with a passion for investigative journalism work and sharing stories within my community.

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