If you are the parent of a child at home, you have certainly had your fair share of stressors, concerns, and distractions during 2020. While many unknowns remain around the current state of COVID-19, personal work situations, and education plans, there is one thing that has not changed - the recommendation to stay up to date with childhood vaccinations and immunizations.

Pediatric vaccinations across the country were alarmingly down this spring. The Connecticut Department of Health reported state-supplied vaccines were down 13% in March and 43% in April 2020 versus those same months in 2019. This decline is not just a concern in Connecticut, or just in the U.S. — it’s a global issue.

As stated by the World Health Organization, “COVID 19 [has disrupted] life-saving immunization services around the world, putting millions of children — in rich and poor countries alike — at risk of diseases like diphtheria, measles and polio.” As travel and social distancing, both domestically and internationally, relax now or in the future, the importance of immunizing children becomes increasingly important. Children not protected by vaccines will become more vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles.

The CDC has issued a vaccine catch-up schedule for any child 4 months to 18 years of age who has started vaccines late or has fallen more than 1 month behind the recommended schedule at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/catchup.html. If your child is due for upcoming immunizations or has fallen behind, contact your physician to discuss scheduling and any concerns you may have.

RVNAhealth will be offering Well Child Clinics in August, providing school physicals and immunizations, and flu vaccines follow shortly behind in September for both adults and children. To learn more, please visit rvnahealth.org/services/be-well/ or call us at 203-438-5555.

Theresa Santoro