Routine Vaccines & the Coronavirus Pandemic: The Importance of Immunizations During COVID-19 by Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP
As students and parents are also preparing for the upcoming school year, this is a great time to share some facts and tips on safe immunization during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Why are immunizations important? Immunizations are important because they help protect children and adults from diseases that are preventable. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released in May 2020 found a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend every child continues to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Talk to your health-care provider. It is important for children and adults to stay up to date on their vaccinations. Many providers are taking precautions, such as asking patients to wait outside and only offering appointments during certain times. Talk to your nurse practitioner (NP) or other health-care provider about how to safely receive vaccinations.
- Practice social distancing. When leaving the house to visit your health-care provider, it is important to take necessary precautions, such as wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet apart from others and sanitizing your hands frequently.
- Make sure you and your family are up to date. Most adults are not fully up to date on their vaccinations. It is essential to ensure that you are – and that your family is also. Review the CDC’s list of recommended vaccinations from birth to 6 years of age, for ages 7 to 18 and for adults aged 19 and older. Have a visit with your health-care provider, such as an NP, to ensure you have all your vaccinations.
Is there a COVID-19 vaccine? Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. The best way to prevent contracting COVID-19 is to wear a mask, follow all guidelines in place and practice social distancing.
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