There are plenty of reasons parents might skip their kids’ vaccinations during the pandemic — but don’t.
Don’t skip vaccinations
Some parents are nervous about taking their children in for their regular well child visits and vaccinations.
Please don’t let this keep you from getting regularly scheduled shots to protect your kids. Your pediatricians have protocols in place to keep your kids safe.
Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics always has separate entrances for sick kids and well kids. During the COVID-19 shutdown, we are not seeing walk-ins, and we have special check-in procedures.
Other parents may hesitate because they don’t want to use medical resources when there’s a pandemic going on. And some parents are just feeling overwhelmed.
None of these are good reasons to skip vaccinations.
A measles comeback?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that well child visits have dropped off by as much as 70% in some communities. This could create serious problems.
In 2019, the United States recorded 1,282 cases of measles — the highest number in 25 years. Measles is a highly contagious disease and one which can have serious consequences, including complications like encephalitis. It can even be fatal.
Herd immunity kicks in for a disease like measles when 93 to 95 percent of the people in a community have been vaccinated. If a high proportion of Northwest Arkansas babies and toddlers miss out on their vaccinations, we could see dangerous levels of unimmunized children in our community.
Not just measles
Regular vaccinations safeguard children against many other diseases, including whooping cough and meningitis. These illnesses used to be common among American children, but now they are rare.
It’s important that we continue to keep our children safe against these diseases.
Regular well-child visits are also still important for the same reasons they usually are. Children can get sick or have developmental issues now just as they can when there is no pandemic threatening them. Kids with conditions like asthma and diabetes also need regular care, and they may be at greater risk from coronavirus.
Parents may also have worrying questions as we go through the pandemic. Your pediatrician is your partner in your child’s health. Telemedicine may be a good option for some visits, but make sure to keep up with vaccinations. Call with any questions or concerns.
If you have already missed some shots, talk with your pediatrician about the best way to catch up.
Call Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics at (479) 442-7322 to schedule your child’s well visit and immunizations.