Pediatric Immunization Rates Plummet and How This Can Impact Your Child
Many parents are avoiding the pediatrician’s office due to concerns about COVID-19. This means well-child appointments are being postponed, and necessary pediatric immunizations aren’t being administered on time. Public health experts warn that collateral damage from the current crisis epidemic could show up as outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and whooping cough.
National infant immunization week is April 25-May 2. This annual observance was designed to recognize the importance of protecting young children from vaccine-preventable diseases. Yet, it is equally important to acknowledge the significance of people of all ages to receive vaccinations when they are due.
How Should Parents Protect Children Against Vaccine-Preventable Diseases?
The ramifications of the current pandemic continue to evolve and affect communities throughout North Carolina. We do not know how long things will continue. As such, parents must continue to ensure the health and wellbeing of their kids through well-child care visits, especially those visits that include the administration of vaccines. This is especially true for children who are ages two and under.
We are taking extra precautions to protect our staff and patients. Here are a few ways Rainbow Pediatrics is working for you.
- Well-visit appointments are available at designated times that are separate from sick appointments. Well visits are from 10 am – 3 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Sick appointments are from 8-10 am and from 3-5 pm.
- Patients ages two and under should keep their appointment. This is for both the administration of vaccines as well as critical developmental checks.
- Patients over age two can postpone their well-child visits based on the parent’s preference.
- As patients arrive for their appointment, we are placing them directly into rooms to ensure the waiting area is not crowded.
Important Vaccine Update – Beginning August 1, 2020, a booster dose of the Meningitis vaccine (meningococcal conjugate) is required for all North Carolina adolescents entering the 12th grade, or by 17 years of age, whichever comes first. If the first dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine is administered on or after the 16th birthday, the booster is not required. If your child meets this requirement, plan for scheduling this immunization before August to ensure there are no issues with their entering school in the Fall.
Additionally, the 2020 vaccine schedule for children and adolescents ages 18 or younger can be viewed by clicking here. It is our mission to help keep your children safe and healthy. If you have any questions about pediatric immunizations, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you and your children soon.