Schools are reopening for in-person instruction of varying degrees. Students are still required to be up to date with vaccinations
Some students are already back in classrooms, while others are preparing to go back to in-person learning after months online during the pandemic. No matter what their school attendance calendar looks like, students are required to be up to date on their vaccinations.
According to Jill S. Howell-Berg, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Clarksville, required vaccinations will help keep your child safe and protect others, including children, faculty and staff.
“Vaccines are an important step to the immunity development of any child,” Dr. Howell-Berg said. “These vaccines have been strategically set up by age group to best protect your child during their growing years. Having your child vaccinated also helps protect those who can’t be immunized.”
Dr. Howell-Berg also reminded parents that it’s best to schedule an appointment early to beat any last-minute rush.
Vaccination delays can affect the community
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 40% of parents across the U.S. say their children missed vaccinations, according to statistics provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield. From January to September 2020, there was a 26% drop for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) vaccines, and polio vaccines dropped 16%. Lowered vaccination rates can increase the risk of outbreaks of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) by eroding the herd immunity that helps keep many of the conditions from affecting children in the community.
“Once vaccination rates begin to dip below 80% to 70% of the population, that’s when these diseases can start spreading,” Dr. Howell-Berg said. “Vaccinating a child protects that child, but it also protects other children by helping to prevent community spread.”
Norton Children’s Medical Group
Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers pediatric primary care at more than 20 locations throughout Louisville and surrounding communities, including Southern Indiana.
If you’ve delayed your child’s care due to COVID-19, we are here for you
Norton Children’s Medical Group, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers pediatric primary care at more than 20 locations throughout Louisville and surrounding communities, including Southern Indiana. Our offices have taken steps to make visits safer during the coronavirus outbreak. These include:
- You can avoid the waiting room. Parents can check in via MyNortonChart, and the office will call you and let you know when they are ready for you to come into the building.
- Offices have extra disinfecting procedures for each room after every patient.
- Providers use separate rooms for sick children and healthy children.
- Everyone over 2 years old is required to wear a mask.
- Only one parent can accompany the patient, if possible.
“Our offices are ready to see patients and have extended weekday and weekend hours at almost every location,” Dr. Howell-Berg said. “Still, parents should schedule visits soon to ensure their child is healthy and ready to go back to school in person.”
Even if your child isn’t due for vaccines, a yearly checkup is a good habit to develop. Your pediatrician can help you and your child prepare for the upcoming year.
“Visits to your pediatrician also can offer a chance to receive information from specialists on how to keep your child safe from illness while they are attending school,” Dr. Howell-Berg said. “Most parents are more aware of the viruses today; however they still have questions that we can answer for them.”