Timely vaccination is a cornerstone of good pediatric health and infectious disease prevention. Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, however, pediatricians are seeing a notable drop in vaccination rates as many parents are cautiously putting off their kids’ healthcare visits. While it is important to safeguard your children against coronavirus, it is also necessary to protect them from other harmful illnesses. Here’s what you can do to make sure your kids are up-to-date on their vaccines.

Make vaccinations a priority

Vaccines are scientifically proven to be among the safest and most effective ways of protecting babies and children from diseases such as measles, meningitis and whooping cough. Many of these illnesses are particularly life-threatening in children, so it is essential that parents make pediatric vaccinations a priority. Timely vaccination ensures your child is immune before any potential exposure to the disease, and will keep them protected when schools resume in-person.

Call your pediatrician about appointments

Make sure to speak to your pediatrician about your child’s immunization record and what appointment options are available. Due to COVID-19, pediatricians all over the country have gotten creative about how they conduct visits in order to protect their patients, including holding drive up appointments and seeing well and unwell children at different times/locations. Your pediatrician can help you determine which appointment types are available and work best for your child.

Take proper precautions before and after your visit

In order to stay protected from the coronavirus, make sure you and your child wear well-fitting masks to the immunization appointment and keep them on unless directed otherwise by a physician or nurse. Make sure to follow all hospital and clinic protocols, which are put in place to ensure patient and parent safety. Wash your hands before your appointment, directly after your appointment and when you arrive back home. Afterwards, you and your child can also change clothes and shower as an added precaution.

Reach out to your pediatrician with any concerns

In general, if you have any health-related concerns regarding your child at any time, reach out to your pediatrician. Doctors, nurses and medical staff are always here to help you during this pandemic and into the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nathaniel Beers Nathaniel Beers, MD, MPA, FAAP, president of HSC Health Care System, is a general and developmental-behavioral pediatrician.

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Posts from Nathaniel Beers, MD, MPA, FAAP

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