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While the world awaits a vaccine for COVID-19, health officials are encouraging parents not to wait on their children’s routine checkups.Pediatric vaccinations have decreased noticeably beginning in mid-March, about the same time President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the pandemic, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released in May.Disruptions were anticipated in the nation’s health care system as social distancing and stay-at-home orders were implemented, but the CDC warns that neglect of childhood vaccinations is especially dangerous, making a young population more susceptible to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Dr. Courtney Sauls, at Ascension St. John Clinic Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, said she believes the decline locally is not because parents are choosing not to vaccinate, but because many are choosing to delay routine vaccinations and checkups out of fear of being exposed to COVID-19 at a medical facility.“A lot of these vaccines, especially in early childhood, you need to have multiple boosters of them to have adequate immunity,” Sauls said. “The worry is that these children will not be protected from a lot of these other diseases that could cause harm.”Whooping cough circulates intermittently in hot spots …
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