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Passing up well-visits could cause a spread in childhood diseases



States across the country seeing drop in vaccinations for measles and other childhood vaccines

COVID-19, well visits, kids, pediatricians, vaccines

In January of 2018, Hudson Valley Parent reported on the beginning of the outbreak of measles in the Hudson Valley.
 
This is not an article about the pros and cons of vaccinating your child, just information for you to use as you choose. 

There are several concerns. First, children under one-year do not get the vaccination, so these babies are most susceptible to getting the disease. This has always been known. Second, parents could not bring their kids in for well visits because until recently most docs offices have been closed for those appointments. They were only open for those kids who were sick. 

Well visits came and went. It was too scary to bring your child in for what appeared to be less than a serious visit. Now agencies are reporting that there is a massive decrease in children being vaccinated, thereby opening us up to a serious outbreak of measles and other childhood diseases. 

Childhood vaccinations have been debated for years, and parents in the Hudson Valley have been inundated with the pros and cons. Now the argument has intensified as the world focuses their attention on the quest for a Covid-19 vaccine which would prevent the disease as well as a recurrence in someone who has had the virus. However, in deep contrast, the CDC has announced a notable decrease in certain childhood vaccines and measle vaccines since March, when the Covid-19 pandemic was officially announced.
  
The Covid-19 crisis, says the New York Times, has caused a downward trend in pediatric visits in certain parts of the country, including New York City with a 63 percent drop in immunization visits, and Massachusetts and Minnesota pediatric vaccination visits dropping in the 60 and 70 percent rates. 


PCC, a pediatric electronic health records company, gathered vaccine information from 1,000 independent pediatricians nationwide. Using the week of February 16 as a pre-coronavirus baseline, PCC found that during the week of April 5, the administration of measles, mumps and rubella shots dropped by 50 percent; diphtheria and whooping cough shots by 42 percent; and HPV vaccines by 73 percent.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics continues to encourage parents to bring their children for both well visits, and to keep up to date on vaccines. 

Even though families are staying home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, pediatricians are taking steps to make sure it’s as safe as possible for visits that need to happen in person. Offices have separated “sick” and “well” areas of their clinic, or have newborns come in early in the day before other patients. Calling ahead is recommended so your pediatrician can advise you on the best way to come in.



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