Will COVID-19 delay childhood vaccinations?

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 12, 2020 -- A recent survey from Orlando Health revealed that COVID-19 may be preventing children from receiving their normal vaccinations at local pediatrician offices.

While 84% of parents still believe that vaccinations are the best way to prevent diseases, 67% of those surveyed said they were nervous to visit a pediatrician's office due to COVID-19. Skepticism remains a problem, with 38% of parents believing that their child does not need all of the vaccines recommended by their pediatrician.

Some physicians are adapting their protocols to keep patients safe as possible in an effort to get parents to keep their appointments.

"All it will take is a case of measles entering our community and we will see loss of life that is completely and totally unnecessary," said Dr. Alix Casler, a pediatrician and chair of the department of pediatrics for Orlando Health Physician Assoc.

Casler noted that vaccines only work because a vast majority (greater than 90%) of children are vaccinated, and once the percentage drops below that "no one will be presumed safe."

She also stated that it will be very important for entire families to get their flu shots as soon as possible this season. The flu vaccine is a safe and effective method of reducing serious illness as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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