Child immunizations decline during COVID-19

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Childhood immunizations have declined during COVID-19 and Minnesota health officials are urging parents to ensure their children get the needed vaccines. Photo: Shutterstock

Children in Minnesota are not getting their needed vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a while, people were told to avoid going to clinics if they were not sick and many clinics were not seeing patients in person. When clinics were closed, families had to adjust to online visits. These changes caused many families to avoid scheduling appointments, including appointments for their child’s vaccinations.

However, even with COVID-19, it is important to continue actions that will protect our children. Doctor visits are critical for checking on your child’s growth, development, and getting recommended vaccinations. Delaying or missing vaccinations could put your child, your family, and your community at risk for serious diseases (like whooping cough, chickenpox, or measles).

It is also important that your child stays on track with their vaccinations for school. No matter what school looks like for your child this fall, schools still need documentation that students are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Since many clinics have safely re-opened, we encourage all families to get their children vaccinated now. Call your clinic to make an appointment. Do not be afraid to ask questions! Things are a little different now; we are all getting used to something new. Your clinic can tell you what they are doing to keep patients safe. When you go to your child’s appointment, be prepared to wear a mask. Many clinics are not letting extra people into the clinic, so they might ask if siblings can stay home.

Your child’s doctor can help your child get the vaccinations they need. You can also request your child’s vaccination record from the Minnesota Department of Health by going to Find My Immunization Record (https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/immunize/miic/records.html) or calling 651-201-3980.

Parents are doing everything they can to keep their children healthy right now. We do not have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but keeping your child up to date on other recommended vaccines is one way you can help protect them and your community.

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