The Importance of Maintaining Essential Vaccinations Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

Doctor and patient having a telehealth video chat

COVID-19 has changed the way we do a lot of things in this country, at least for the immediate future. Dining at a restaurant, going grocery shopping, visiting the bank, or going to the post office isn’t how it was a mere seven months ago. At the same time, our attitude towards health and visiting the doctor may have also changed. Yet, lagging on our yearly check-ups and neglecting our vaccines is no way to prepare for the future. Keeping up with vaccines and making the flu shot a priority is key to keeping our communities strong. 

As a local pediatric office, Peds on Demand understands how city lockdowns and restrictions have impacted the way people live their lives. Many people still feel largely isolated and separated from the communities and institutions that once served as the fabric of their social network. These are places like schools, churches, and summer camps, to name a few. For some families, this has led to distancing themselves from their family doctors and pediatricians, leading to a decline in regular check-ups and even vaccinations. 

Begin with Tele-Health

Despite the unfortunate current circumstances, the advent of technology has allowed physicians to continue to visit with patients and monitor conditions and overall health. We know that children often get sick and parents worry that it might be something serious or needs immediate medical attention. That’s why our pediatric office offers drive-through telemedicine so we can visit with your child and assess anything that might require more in-depth medical examination or screening. 

Don’t Forget the Vaccinations — Importance of Following the Schedule 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the routine immunizations given to children from 0-18 years of age. The CDC’s recommended immunization schedule is safe and effective at protecting babies and children from exposure to dangerous diseases. The schedule is designed and spread out in a way that provides the most protection for a child based on how their body responds and when they are likely to be exposed to certain diseases. 

What happens when you don’t follow the recommended vaccine schedule?

  • This could leave your child vulnerable to disease
  • Increases vulnerability during an age that might mean heightened complications 
  • Won’t have full protection against diseases until all recommended doses are done
  • They won’t have the long-term protection offered by vaccines 

Your child’s vaccine gives them early protection before they are exposed. Reports of decreased routine vaccinations mean that communities can be facing a higher risk of certain conditions. 

Important Immunizations from 0 to 18 Years

From the time they are born, a child’s immune system is constantly exposed to new pathogens. In order to protect against diseases that have been harmful to great waves of previous populations, vaccinations are administered. Through this, entire communities and countries have succeeded in eradicating harmful diseases like polio. 

Important immunizations kids need from 0-18 years include (sometimes multiple doses of):

  • Hepatitis B 
  • Rotavirus
  • Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis
  • Haemophilus Influenza Type B
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Poliovirus
  • Influenza
  • Mumps
  • Varicella
  • Hepatitis A
  • Human papillomavirus 
  • Meningococcal 
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide 

How Decreased Immunizations Can Have a Great Impact on Young Children

The pandemic has served as a reminder that our health should be a top priority in our lives and our children’s lives. Unfortunately, the very stay-at-home orders and decreased lack of resources for some families have led to a declining number of people taking their children for the necessary vaccinations at their local pediatric office. A decline in visits may also have something to do with parents’  fears of having their child exposed to Coronavirus during a routine visit or stay at the doctor’s office. Fewer vaccinations have a ripple effect on communities, neighborhoods, and cities.  It impacts not on just individual families but for communities as a whole. It increases the risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and puts more kids and families at unnecessary risk. 

The Importance of the Flu Shot This Fall 

As summer makes its slow and steady exit and the Fall kicks in, flu season comes with it. Health experts are encouraging people more than ever to get vaccinated against the flu this year, particularly because of the risk of COVID-19. Having communities protected against the flu will ensure that fewer people visit the hospital and/or get mixed with any possible second wave of the Covid-19. Battling Covid-19 and flu at the same time presents complications to not only hospitals and clinics but to families and communities. 

The director of the CDC, Robert Redfield said in August of 2020, “By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children…The kids that get vaccinated, they basically get protected against death.” 

Redfield was referring to the high number of flu fatalities every year, some amongst children or adults that had not been vaccinated. Many health experts warn against the possibility of having a flu outbreak in addition to dealing with increased cases of COVID-19. 

Getting Vaccinated is Easy!

The good news in these uncertain times is the fact that getting vaccinations is easy. Here at Peds on Demand, we have taken every precaution to ensure that families feel safe and confident to come to the office when necessary or utilize our telehealth services before they come in. By using telehealth, we can see where your child is in their immunization schedule and set them up for their scheduled and necessary vaccines. Visit pediatricians you can trust. Call us today.