MedWatch: Vaccines for Children
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Munson says a lot of people are canceling or postponing their children’s well-visits.
That concerns them because of the drop in vaccine rates in children.
“For example, according to the CDC, a recent study in Michigan, only about half of children in Michigan 18 months to 36 months are fully immunized,” said Dr. Megan Coggon.
That is a big concern for doctors like Megan Coggon.
“Low vaccine rates pose a huge problem in the community because the more children that are out there unimmunized, the more likely there will be outbreaks of diseases that are easily preventable through vaccines,” explained Dr. Coggon.
She’s talking about diseases that have been under control for years because of vaccines like measles, mumps and polio.
“Vaccines are the only prevention and protection for diseases such as these,” said Dr. Coggon.
For some parents it’s “out of sight, out of mind.”
“We often get questions such as such as measles and polio, they must be irrelevant right, because we don’t see them anymore, and that’s just not true. They certainly exist in other countries around the world but in increasing vaccine deferral we are seeing more and more of these in the United States. For example, in 2019 alone there was more measles outbreaks then in almost 20 years,” explained Dr. Coggon.
“And the answer is absolutely. These are things that help protect our most vulnerable patient population. We want to protect them, not get them sick,” said Dr. Coggon.
Another fear: is it safe to bring my children in during this pandemic?
“Absolutely, it is safe to bring your children into any Munson facility for well visits. We’ve been taking a lot of precautions so visits in the summer and fall are going to probably look a little different than you’ve ever seen before. We screen all our employees as well as our patients and their caregivers prior to even walking into the door,” explained Dr. Coggon.
And yes, wear a mask.
“We ask that every parents, as we’re well as their child, ages over two and above to wear masks. It’s because we just don’t want to protect our parents and our adults, of course, we want to protect our patient population as well the children,” said Dr. Coggon.
The sooner you can schedule a visit, the better.
“There’s no time like the present to schedule these well visits. We don’t know what school is going to look like in the fall for any of our kids just quite yet, but we do know the flu seasons always comes in the fall and winter,” said Dr. Coggon. “So pick up the phone and call our offices, they are always open at 231-547-3840. Any doctor or pediatrician would be happy to see your child at this time and help make sure that they are healthy going into the cold and flu season.”