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Childhood Immunization During Covid-19 Pandemic

Many parents ask whether they can postpone their children’s regular vaccinations during the Covid pandemic – either because they are afraid to visit the hospital or clinic or because there is a lockdown.

 

In order to avoid confusion, in this article vaccination refers to your child’s regular immunizations and not to the Covid vaccine.

Vaccines can be delayed by a few days/weeks for some vaccines, but other critical vaccines must be given on time. Consult your pediatrician or contact us and we’ll give you advice based on your child’s age and the vaccinations due.

Pediatric hospitals and clinics often provide parents with a vaccination schedule for their children. This chart shows the recommended age range for some vaccines, but there is some flexibility with the timing of these vaccinations. Hepatitis A1, for example, is given between the 12th month and the 18th month. So if your child just turned 12 months old, you can wait a few weeks for the pandemic to subside before administering this vaccine. If you are planning to have your child vaccinated, please consult your pediatrician before making the decision.

 

In order to keep this readable, we won’t list the entire immunization schedule in this article.

 

Other diseases do not go away just because Covid exists.

 

There are other diseases that don’t disappear just because there is a Covid pandemic, so it’s important to get your child the right vaccines. Vaccines like BCG, Hepatitis, MMR, OPV, and others help prevent diseases like Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, etc. You should protect your child from all of these serious diseases.

 

When getting immunized at the hospital or clinic, what precautions should we take?

 

  1. Ask your pediatrician assistant or front desk person what Covid safety protocols are followed by the hospital/clinic.
  2. Ask the hospital/clinic how long your child might have to wait before they vaccinate your child before you leave for the hospital/clinic.
  3. As always, follow Covid protocols of social distancing, wearing a good mask (N95 if you can, or a double mask), hand sanitizing, and not touching frequently used items as door handles.
  4. It is possible for your pediatrician to tell the staff ahead of time to keep the vaccine ready for your scheduled appointment. By doing so, your wait time will be reduced as well. Check with your doctor or the assistant if this is possible.

 

Could the child be vaccinated at home?

 

The pediatrician asks parents to bring their children to the hospital/clinic for vaccination for several reasons.

  1. Vaccines need to be kept at the correct temperature. If you buy vaccines in a pharmacy, you can’t be sure that they’ve been kept at a consistent temperature or how long they’ve been out of refrigeration.
  2. Since vaccines have been used for decades, they have proven to be extremely safe. Certain children, however, might have an immediate reaction to a vaccine or part of a vaccine in extremely rare cases. In such cases, a doctor might need to be consulted immediately. Therefore, vaccines must be given by a pediatrician or in the presence of a pediatrician. Because it is virtually impossible for a pediatrician to make so many home visits and to cover every possible situation where a vaccine might cause a reaction, it is safer to take your child to the pediatrician for the vaccination.

 

Before scheduling your child’s immunization, please consult your pediatrician for information about your child’s vaccination and ask questions about the hospital/clinic’s safety arrangements. Do not delay your child’s immunization without first consulting your pediatrician.

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