Dr. Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics says over the past year we have seen a real dip in kids coming in for their well visits. She says when your children are behind in their immunizations, they may be at risk for illnesses that could be prevented like measles, whooping cough and meningitis. They want to make sure your kids are protected against all those things. The second reason is they do a lot of things besides immunizations in a pediatrician’s office. Dr. Beers says they check in on your child’s growth and their development and their mental health so they want to be able to do that together with you to make sure your child has everything they need to be healthy and thriving.
Mel asked why should we stay on top of immunizations when some of these diseases are old? Dr. Beers says we think of them as old illnesses, but they aren’t. There have been outbreaks of the measles around the country over the past year and we know that the less children are immunized, the more likely it is for that illness to spread in that community. She goes on to say every year they see kids with whooping cough and every year have children admitted to the hospital very ill with whooping cough, meningitis and other illnesses. Sometimes when we think of these as old illnesses it is because kids have been immunized against them. When the vaccination rate drops it means that your child may be at risk for getting infected with them. Dr. Beers says it something they think is so important that they put out a public service announcement encouraging families to get into the doctor to get their kids immunized.
When it comes to the COVID vaccine Dr. Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells us that first and most important thing to know is that the COVID vaccine that are approved are safe and effective and they encourage everyone to get their vaccine as soon as they are eligible. Teens age 16 and up are now eligible for the vaccine and they expect that the approval of the vaccine for children age 12 and up before too long certainly by the summer.
Dr. Beers says one final thing that parents actually should know and realize is that there is a period of time both before and after the COVID vaccine where you can’t get other immunizations which is another reason to go in and get caught up on your routine immunizations when the time comes you can get your COVID vaccine without delay.