Longmont, Colo. (June 30, 2020) – School, sports and playdates aren’t the only things kids have been missing out on since the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading across the United States.
Across the nation, children have been missing routine immunizations and well-child visits. The sharp drop in vaccinations, pediatricians fear, could lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, pertussis, meningitis, polio and Hepatitis A.
“It’s really important to follow the immunization schedule because we need to maintain a herd immunity, which many people have heard of now due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Heather Isaacson, a pediatrician at UCHealth Longmont Clinic. “Herd immunity is a certain level of immunity in the community where enough people are immunized against a particular virus or bacteria. And once the levels drop too low, in terms of the immunization rate, then we are at risk for outbreaks.”
Here is the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, but immunizations for many other serious and potentially deadly diseases prevent children from getting sick.
“We really want to get the kids in the office, get these vaccines administered and make sure that we don’t have another pandemic on our hands,” Isaacson said.
In addition to the immunizations, Isaacson said it’s important that children are getting in for their well-child visits as well.
“Well-child checks are where we check in on children’s growth and development, eating, sleeping and exercise habits, provide screenings for mental health, perform a head-to-toe physical exam and provide referrals for specialists if needed,” Isaacson said.
These visits also provide guidance for parents and adolescents, who can check in on their own risks and behaviors.
“These screenings are even more important right now since children have not been in school,” she said. “Our kids are suffering the same stressors that adults are feeling, and they need to continue their regular health care to optimize their physical and mental health.”
To schedule an appointment with a UCHealth pediatrician or primary care physician for an annual checkup or immunizations, go to uchealth.org and click on the “schedule appointment” tab.
UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth includes over 25,000 employees, 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth is dedicated to providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. Offering more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation.
Contact: Kelly Tracer