Many parents nervous to take children to pediatrician during pandemic
A national survey conducted by Orlando Health, a not-for-profit health care organization, found that two-thirds of U.S. parents are nervous to take their children the pediatrician’s office during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also found that 84% of parents believe vaccines are the best way to protect their child from infectious diseases, but that 38% do not believe all recommended vaccinations are required, Orlando Health reported recently.
“It is imperative that parents keep their routine wellness visits with their child’s pediatrician,” Alix Casler, MD, a pediatrician and chair of the department of pediatrics for Orlando Health Physician Associates, said in a press release. “While we are doing as many visits as possible virtually, coming in for vaccinations is important not only for protecting your child, but also to preserve herd immunity against these terrible diseases.”
Even before the pandemic, research demonstrated a decline in pediatrician visits. During the pandemic, pediatricians have had to come up with innovative ways to continue caring for patients, including providing vaccinations.
“All it will take is a case of measles entering our community and we will see loss of life that is completely and totally unnecessary,” Casler said. “It can be hard for people to grasp just how important universal vaccinations are because they’ve never seen how devastating these diseases can be. Measles and whooping cough outbreaks are a thing of the past thanks to vaccines, and we’d like to keep it that way.”
Casler noted that the only reason there is herd immunity in the U.S. against several diseases is because upward of 90% to 95% of children are vaccinated.
“Once we drop below that level, no one will be presumed safe,” she said.
Casler emphasized the importance of receiving an influenza vaccination.
“The fact is that we have a safe and effective method to reduce the impact of influenza through a vaccine,” Casler said. “We’re hoping that people will be lining up to get their flu shots so we can at least take something off of the table in terms of very serious illness as the nation continues to battle this pandemic.”