Pediatric vaccination during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
Saturday, October 3, 2020
11:00 AM – 11:25 AM CDT
Declines in routine childhood immunization coverage have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting U.S. children and their communities at an increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases. According to CDC, routine vaccination is an essential preventive care service for children, adolescents, and adults (including pregnant women) that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reminding parents of the vital need to protect their children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, is critical. As social distancing requirements are relaxed, children who are not protected by vaccines will be more vulnerable to diseases such as measles. Slowing or stopping access to vaccinations increases our risk of other disease outbreaks. The challenges for childhood vaccination once the pandemic is over will continue. We are already seeing the seeds of doubt planted on the safety and/or efficacy of a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Unfortunately, anti-vaccine sentiment will not go away after this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the vaccine development landscape and we as health care professionals need to be prepared to educate our patients/parents on the value and safety of vaccines.