Routine vaccinations recommended during the pandemic
CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend every child continues to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
A CDC report released in May 2020 found a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home.
While families followed public health warnings about going out, an unfortunate result was many missed routine vaccinations. The decline in routine pediatric vaccines might result in children and their communities facing an increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can serve as a reminder of the importance of vaccinations.
Mason Tyler, Monument Health D.O. Family Medicine Resident (3rd year) says, “Having them repeatedly through the years, kind of helps build that immune system so that if they are ever exposed to it, they have a very good chance of not contracting the disease.”
Concerns about potentially exposing their children to COVID-19 during well child visits might contribute to the declines, but the need to protect children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases — like measles, even as pandemic continues, is critical.
Tyler says, “Definitely helps prevent diseases, helps prevent the spread of diseases too, so the more children that are vaccinated the more effectively we can eradicate these diseases or at least halt the spread and halt other kids from getting sick. “
Tyler says keeping the immune system robust is the body’s way of preventing disease. Well child checks are important. Staying ahead any issues allows time to catch problems before they happen.
Tyler says, “That is kind of the whole point of the well child checks — is not to be reactive to something that is already going on — its to be proactive and catch things before they become a problem.”
As communities are opening up — medical facilities are taking their own measures to keep people safe to help curb parents’ concerns like keeping up with sanitizing standards — protective PPE and proper distancing of patients to keep their facilities safe.
“At this point it still is highly recommended to come in and get vaccinations just because the risks are minimized and the beneficial to them are exponential, ” says Tyler.
Tyler also emphasizes that vaccinations are safe with minimum side effects.
He also recommends getting the flu immunization each year in the fall.