DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Pediatricians are concerned with the lack of patients coming in for regular immunizations. Children have a set immunization plan to follow from the time they 2 weeks old until they are adults.
COVID-19 has lowered the number of pediatric patients coming in for vaccines across the country, which could cause problems if schools resume in the fall.
According to Barron, pediatricians have seen as much as a 50% drop in immunizations for children in certain parts of the country. He urges parents to continue regularly scheduled vaccines.
“I think in terms of the flu vaccines it’s definitely recommended it was recommended before the coronavirus and it’s definitely recommended now,” Barron said. “We don’t want to get to a situation where preventable diseases that can be prevented by vaccines become prevalent again because people are not being vaccinated, I think vaccines are every bit as important as they’ve ever been if not more important now.”
Most children show respiratory symptoms and fevers, but there are far more asymptomatic children and that could cause issues for when school resumes.
“Biggest concern with school coming back or anytime that there are groups of children together or anybody for that matter would be the increased likelihood for spread,” Barron explained.
Barron says we’ve come far in preventing some of these illnesses. He would hate to see society regress and not only be dealing with Coronavirus but other outbreaks such as the measles at the same time. Prevention is key, and doctors’ offices are following guidelines to keep patients safe while continuing regular care.
“All pediatricians in pediatric offices are doing a good job of trying to make things as safe as they can so that parents will feel safe and will feel like they can go and get their children’s immunizations with the minimum of risk of catching the coronavirus or something else,” Barron explained.
Dr. Barron says there’s an entire generation of patients that have never had to deal with a chickenpox or measles outbreak, and because of that doctors warn that many may not realize the severity of these illnesses and others if children do not keep up with vaccinations.