The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that childhood vaccinations dropped since COVID-19 took over the United States, potentially raising the risks of measles and other infectious diseases among children. The health agency stated that there has been a significant reduction in the number of vaccines ordered through a federal program for vaccinating children since March 13 when the president declared a health emergency across the country.
The CDC warned that unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children remain vulnerable to diseases that could have been prevented with a vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) shares the same concerns, adding that vaccinating children should not be delayed for anything in the world. Dr. Sally Goza, president of the AAP, said missing vaccines could mean missing developmental screening and other important physical examinations for children.
“Immunizing infants, children and adolescents is important, and should not be delayed,” Dr. Sally Goza said. “I’m also concerned that children who have missed vaccines have also missed other health care that occurs during those visits, including physical exams, developmental screenings, and other important care that should not be delayed.”
Goza said it is understandable that parents are keeping their children away from healthcare centers out of fear of contracting coronavirus, but she encouraged pediatricians to reach out to parents for medical appointments and also separate sick children from healthy ones for the purpose of hospital visits.
“We want to reassure all our families that pediatricians have innovated ways to make visits even safer, including setting different hours or locations for well and sick children, rigorous sanitation and cleaning practices, and conducting portions of visits by telehealth,” she added.
The AAP said it is important for parents to understand that pediatricians would do anything possible to keep kids safe during this coronavirus period. The agency urged clinics and offices to arrange different days or times for attending to children for vaccination purposes and to also put measures in place to set sick patients apart from well ones.
The CDC recommends that children must get 14 different immunizations to get protection from 19 different diseases, and the accurate timing for acquiring the vaccines guarantees their strongest immunity.