Pediatrician appointments down due to COVID-19 fears

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — As the fear of coronavirus keeps us at home, we may be inadvertently putting millions of children at risk. Nor for the coronavirus, but for other diseases.

We are learning that parents around the country are cancelling pediatrician appointments and this means babies are not getting the immunizations that they need. Those include the vaccines for measles, whooping cough and other life-threatening diseases.

Many parents are afraid to take their small children out due to fear of COVID. However, a physician’s office is probably the safest place to go, where the environment is cleaned and the staff take all precautions. Much safer than gas stations, Walmart and grocery stores. The risk to unvaccinated children is very real.

Dr. Dracker — Summerwood Pediatrics

PCC, a pediatric electronic health records company, gathered vaccine information from 1,000 independent pediatricians nationwide. They compared a week in mid-February before we started staying home to the first week in April.

They found that the administration of measles, mumps and rubella shots have dropped by 50 percent. Diphtheria and whooping cough shots have dropped by 42 percent. And HPV vaccines have dropped by 73 percent.

It is a dangerous think, so we decided to find out what was happening locally.

We talked with the doctors at Pediatric Associates in Camillus and they said office visits over the last couple of weeks are down 35 percent compared to last year.

But, the majority of those are sick visits. Most kids are healthy right now because they’re not in school infecting each other.

Only a handful of parents have cancelled well visits. So, most of the babies who need shots every few months are getting them.

It’s not just babies who need thier vaccines. If booster shots are missed for school-age children, their immunity will begin to drop.

As we wait for a vaccine for COVID-19, doctors say we should protect kids against the diseases we have vaccines for.

As always, stay safe and stay home.


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