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Vaccinations in the COVID-19 Era

Jun 18, 2020, 17:48 PM
Rates of routine childhood vaccines have plummeted since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March 2020.

By Lorin Hall, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist at Skagit Regional Health, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital

Mother with children in pediatric waiting area

The last several months have seen great upheavals in every facet of daily life.  Healthcare has certainly been thrown through a loop during this pandemic, notably affecting access to routine health checks and immunizations. Rates of routine childhood vaccines have plummeted since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March, leaving our children vulnerable to preventable diseases.

The new findings on vaccine coverage come from a CDC report that shows a decrease in the number of orders of pediatric vaccines. The overall number of well-child office visits has dropped by half and doses of vaccines distributed to clinics has dropped significantly. 

Under-vaccinated populations are at risk for outbreaks. Measles is a wildly contagious virus, but it is vaccine-preventable. The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging families to call their pediatrician today and schedule visits to catch up on immunizations.

In the era of COVID-19, parents are hesitant to bring their children in to see their primary care provider (PCP) for well child visits due to concerns about potential exposure. Clinics are actually among the safest places you can go as healthcare workers are taking all the precautions they can to protect their patients and staff. Many pediatric clinics are holding separate office hours just for infant immunizations and protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, are being worn. Other precautions are being used such as screening children before they come in, using separate waiting rooms for immunization visits or even using parking lots as waiting rooms. In some cases children are getting vaccinated in their car. Skagit Regional Health also offers MyChart Video Visits for patients who don’t require comprehensive physical exams, lab testing, immunizations or other vital services. 

The last thing we need in these challenging times is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease such as the measles. Concerted efforts are needed for rapid updates of vaccines. Parents should be familiar with the recommended immunization schedule and ensure your child stays up to date. If your child is behind on vaccines, call your PCP office today and schedule a visit to catch up.

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Last post : 09/17/2020

Vaccinations in the COVID-19 Era

Jun 18, 2020, 17:48 PM
Rates of routine childhood vaccines have plummeted since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March 2020.

By Lorin Hall, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist at Skagit Regional Health, in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital

Mother with children in pediatric waiting area

The last several months have seen great upheavals in every facet of daily life.  Healthcare has certainly been thrown through a loop during this pandemic, notably affecting access to routine health checks and immunizations. Rates of routine childhood vaccines have plummeted since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency in March, leaving our children vulnerable to preventable diseases.

The new findings on vaccine coverage come from a CDC report that shows a decrease in the number of orders of pediatric vaccines. The overall number of well-child office visits has dropped by half and doses of vaccines distributed to clinics has dropped significantly. 

Under-vaccinated populations are at risk for outbreaks. Measles is a wildly contagious virus, but it is vaccine-preventable. The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging families to call their pediatrician today and schedule visits to catch up on immunizations.

In the era of COVID-19, parents are hesitant to bring their children in to see their primary care provider (PCP) for well child visits due to concerns about potential exposure. Clinics are actually among the safest places you can go as healthcare workers are taking all the precautions they can to protect their patients and staff. Many pediatric clinics are holding separate office hours just for infant immunizations and protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, are being worn. Other precautions are being used such as screening children before they come in, using separate waiting rooms for immunization visits or even using parking lots as waiting rooms. In some cases children are getting vaccinated in their car. Skagit Regional Health also offers MyChart Video Visits for patients who don’t require comprehensive physical exams, lab testing, immunizations or other vital services. 

The last thing we need in these challenging times is an outbreak of a vaccine preventable disease such as the measles. Concerted efforts are needed for rapid updates of vaccines. Parents should be familiar with the recommended immunization schedule and ensure your child stays up to date. If your child is behind on vaccines, call your PCP office today and schedule a visit to catch up.