Chesterton Tribune



Indiana Immunization Coalition urges keeping child vaccinations up to date

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During this Covid-19 pandemic, millions are more vulnerable to sickness and death until a treatment is developed and approved. In the meantime, the Indiana Immunization Coalition is urging parents and caregivers to keep up with their children’s immunization schedule, for their protection against debilitating and potentially deadly diseases like measles and pertussis. This pandemic is creating more awareness of the serious consequences associated with a disease that has no immunization to provide protection.

“During this time, it is imperative that the recommended childhood immunization schedule is followed, for the safety of children and adults. Delaying for months or until the stay at home orders are lifted will only make children more vulnerable to preventable diseases.” said Lisa Robertson, executive director of the Indiana Immunization Coalition (IIC).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that childhood vaccines continue to be given, stating “If a practice can provide only limited well child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible.”

“Vaccines should be administered on a consistent basis in order for them to be most effective,” said Lisa Robertson, executive director of the IIC. “You and your loved ones can safely stay up to date on essential vaccines while practicing social distancing. Parents and guardians should contact their pediatricians or local health clinics to determine their options during this time.”

Healthcare facilities all across the U.S. are adopting different policies and strategies to ensure patient safety during the pandemic, which includes seeing fewer patients in-person, using tele-medicine appointments, and suspending elective procedures.

While millions of Americans are out of work and struggling financially, keep in mind that no infant or child should be denied a vaccine due to insurance status or inability to pay. The CDC Vaccines for Children (VFC) program offers immunizations at no cost to providers who serve eligible children. Children must meet at least one federal VFC eligibility criteria, including Medicaid eligible, American Indian, or Alaska Native, uninsured, or underinsured. Parents can contact their provider or local health department for information.

IIC encourages parents, guardians, and caregivers to visit the following sites for more information and resources on infant and childhood immunization needs and schedules: The Doctor Is In Š When should you see the pediatrician during COVID-19? American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Š 2020 Childhood Immunization Schedule and recommendations for clinical preventive services; and American Academy of Pediatrics Š guidance for pediatric providers.

The Indiana Immunization Coalition (IIC) is a non-profit public-private partnership that strives to reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases through immunization education, advocacy, promotion, and statewide collaborative partnerships.

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Posted 5/15/2020







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