MILWAUKEE – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many kids may be behind on their vaccinations. Dr. Kevin Dahlmen, the medical director for Aurora Children’s Health, joins FOX6 WakeUp with more on why it’s important as ever to make sure your kids are up to date on their shots.
What caused kids to miss out on vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many childhood vaccinations have been skipped by parents or delayed due to the outbreak. In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, most primary care practices in the U.S. postponed exams and vaccinations for healthy children 2 years old and up. Now, many kids are months behind in vaccinations for mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, meningitis and more.
Are kids at an additional risk by forgoing these vaccinations?
Yes – and not just kids, but the community at large. Across the country, stay-at-home orders limited the spread of these diseases. But as the restrictions lift, many parents are still concerned about potentially exposing themselves and their children to COVID-19. At the same time, continuing to forgo their kids` vaccinations could put the community at risk for an outbreak of preventable illnesses.
What have you heard from parents? What made them skip vaccinations and are they upset that they couldn`t get in for vaccinations?
Many parents canceled during the spring stay-at-home orders and didn`t think much of it. But now, parents whose kids are lapsed or due for vaccinations are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment with their provider as soon as possible.
Vaccinations are now offered again – what are you doing to make sure coming into the clinic is safe for patients and their families?
Most Aurora Health Care pediatric and family medicine clinics are open for vaccinations and wellness checks, and all will be open in the coming weeks. The health and safety of our patients is our highest priority. Through Advocate Aurora`s Safe Care Promise, we are taking additional measures to protect patients and their families, including patient masking, temperature screening, social distancing, virtual check-in capabilities, and enhanced cleaning. It is safe and encouraged that all patients – kids included – seek health care and medical attention if they need it.
What advice do you have for parents on vaccinations and in general during COVID-19?
It`s really important for parents to continue their kids` vaccination schedule to protect not only themselves but others in the community from preventable outbreaks. COVID-19 has reminded us of the destructive toll viruses can take on our family and friends. It`s important for parents to know that it is safe and recommended that their children resume their regular checkups and get vaccinations to avoid potential health crises in the future.