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Hospitals urge parents not to postpone child-well visits and vaccinations during pandemic

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Health experts are emphasizing the importance of not-skipping well-child visits for infants, children and adolescents during COVID-19.

“Under the age of two, kiddos get a ton of vaccinations for lots of different diseases that have had outbreaks in the past,” said Rachel Kelly, a pediatric Physician Assistant at UnityPoint Health – Meriter’s West Washington Clinic. “So a concern is if our vaccination rates drops across the country or across the world even, we could see an emergence of diseases that we usually don’t see, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic.”

UW Health says well-child visits are vital for gathering and monitoring information regarding a child’s medical, behavioral and developmental milestones and needs, but are also when childhood vaccines are typically given.

“It is extremely important during the pandemic that parents remain vigilant about following the childhood vaccination schedule for their kids,” says Dr. Greg DeMuri, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist at the American Family Children’s Hospital. “While so much focus lately has understandably been about keeping our kids safe from coronavirus, we can’t let the fear of one virus make us needlessly susceptible to others. Make no mistake, skipping vaccines would put our children, and other members of our community, at risk of contracting other life-threatening, but vaccine-preventable diseases.”

According to a recent report from the CDC, there was a notable decrease in orders for non-influenza childhood vaccines and for measles-containing vaccines since March 13, 2020­­--the date COVID 19 was declared a national emergency.

These preventable diseases include measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough and more.

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