Keep children’s vaccinations up to date during the pandemic

Special to Atmore News

The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AL-AAP) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) want to stress to parents and caregivers that, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is extremely important to keep children’s vaccines up to date.

On April 15, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidance calling for continuation of well visits for children, especially those under 2 years of age. In order to prevent disease outbreaks once social distancing orders are lifted, vaccinations must be continued at the recommended intervals. This schedule protects children and families from vaccine-preventable diseases. People who are unvaccinated or have unknown vaccination status represent the vast majority of patients in outbreaks of diseases for which vaccines are available.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatricians across Alabama are strictly adhering to infection control measures to keep children safe, such as:

* Conducting many visits virtually;

* Scheduling well visits and sick visits separately;

* Checking in patients outside of the office and allowing waiting in the parking lot until appointment times;

* Allowing only one caregiver (under age 65) to accompany a child to the pediatric office; and

* Cleaning and disinfecting exam rooms between patients.

To assure your children are receiving their vaccinations and other well care on schedule, contact the office of your pediatrician or family physician for

guidance on scheduling.