4 Reasons Why You Need to Stay Current On Immunizations – Even Now
By now, the COVID-19 virus has impacted all of our lives. During shutdown and beyond, we have all cancelled or delayed important events in order to stay safe. However, skipping immunizations is not something that should be put off.
While many people may be a bit hesitant to return to routine care, hospitals, doctors’ offices and healthcare clinics throughout the area are doing everything necessary to ensure patient safety. This includes pediatricians and clinics offering immunizations. Here are four reasons, approved by a board-certified pediatrician, why it is important for children to continue their immunization schedule, especially now.
1. Immunizations are safe and save lives.
According to the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and healthcare professionals across the country and around the world, routine vaccinations are safe. Dr. Susan Frayer, a double board-certified specialist in pediatrics and emergency medicine says, “Of course I am a big believer in immunizations. They are SAFE. The side effects are very rare. The most common are a slight fever and a little bit of fussiness due to body aches. The very slight risk of other side effects is far outweighed by the rewards of disease immunity.” She also explains that there is more to these diseases than just mortality. The long-term effects of some can be devastating, such as polio, a disease that she points out we are only a generation removed from.
There is a long list of diseases, many of which used to effect or even kill countless children, that are virtually eradicated in this country due to immunizations. These included polio, pertussis (whooping cough) and smallpox to name a few. Keeping your child immunized protects them from these diseases and more.
2. Immunizations help everyone stay well.
One of the best things about immunizations is that the protection they provide goes beyond the person receiving it. That’s because they help create the herd immunity you may have heard about recently concerning COVID-19. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “vaccines protect your community.”
Because most children do get immunized, they help stop the spread of the disease and also protect those who are not yet immunized – or those who cannot get vaccines due to cancer treatment or other health issues.
To state it more clearly, immunizations prevent diseases from entering the population. That is why even though some diseases, such as polio, may seem completely eradicated, we continue to immunize against it. So, when you vaccinate your child, you’re also helping vulnerable children stay safe.
3. Immunizations help you prepare now for an uncertain future.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing for sure, you never know what’s around the corner. However, you can prepare for uncertainty by embracing the things you can control, such as taking care of your family’s health – which includes staying current on immunizations.
There is also the possibility of a spike in COVID-19 cases which may result in further lockdowns. This could make it challenging to get routine care in the future. Because it’s more difficult to regain health than it is to maintain good health, you want to make sure your family is as healthy as possible right now. The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases states the importance of staying on schedule, even during the pandemic, “We should not be so distracted by COVID-19 that we neglect our general health. Immunization should be routine—otherwise, we may soon see outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the US and around the world.”
4. It’s easy to get immunized.
Getting your child immunized is easy with many options available. One of the most common ways is through routine well-visits with your child’s pediatrician. Your provider keeps track of the schedule and lets you know which immunizations are due and when. In addition, most communities offer free or low-cost immunization clinics. Many states, including Indiana, now offer programs that allow you to directly access immunization records, making it easier than ever to keep immunizations up to date.
Cameron Memorial Hospital offers immunizations through Cameron Pediatrics. In addition, Cameron has a clinic that serves our community by providing immunizations for anyone needing them throughout Steuben County and beyond. Located on the third floor of Cameron Hospital in Suite 303, the Clinic is open on Mondays by appointment only. The Clinic provides all vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Dr. Frayer assures all parents that immunizations are safe. And, for these four reasons, it’s important to continue to stay on schedule even in light of COVID-19.
Reviewed by: Susan Frayer, MD, Cameron Pediatrics
Dr. Frayer is a double board-certified specialist in pediatrics and emergency medicine with more than 15 years of experience. She is now accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call Cameron Pediatrics at 260-667-5690 or schedule an appointment online.