The Virginia Department of Health observes National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), April 25 – May 2, 2020. NIIW is a yearly observance that highlights the importance of protecting children two-years-old and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs).
On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Fortunately in Virginia, most children are routinely vaccinated on time. However, due to COVID-19, we are starting to see immunization services declining and parents opting to not take their child to the pediatrician to get vaccines they are due for.
Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers across the state are working hard to ensure that children can still receive the well visits and immunizations they need. Some ways they are doing this include:
- Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon.
- Separating patients spatially, such as placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits.
- Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children.
- Parents, especially those with children under 2-years-old, should call ahead to check with their provider and determine if their child is due for any vaccinations.