Don’t Get Lax on Childhood Vaccinations

Even after Solano County issued a shelter-at-home order in March, pediatricians at NorthBay Center for Primary Care facilities continued to report for duty. The only problem was that many of their young patients and parents stopped coming in for appointments.

It’s understandable that at the beginning of the pandemic, families were afraid to get out and about. But now it’s time to pick up and resume health care, especially immunizations for children, said Pediatrician Judy Yang, D.O.

Azenith Rios holds her smiling 6-month-old Kyle, while pediatrician Judy Yang, D.O., prepares to listen to his heart.

“It’s so important to bring children in for their routine physicals, especially if they are due for immunizations. Infants especially need to be seen every two to three months in the first year and a half of their lives,” she said.

The rate of immunizations dropped significantly during the pandemic.

“Because of that, we are now really concerned there could be a vaccine-preventable outbreak on top of COVID-19 this fall. Measles and COVID-19 together would be a real nightmare,” she said.

Unless parents jump back into the routine and pick up where they left off having their children vaccinated, Dr. Yang fears there could be an increase in whooping cough, measles, mumps, and chickenpox.

“Parents should know we’ve gone above and beyond to make our medical office safe for them and their children to visit,” said Dr. Yang. A dedicated cleaner frequently disinfects high-touch areas many times a day throughout the clinic, and exam rooms are sanitized thoroughly between every appointment.

In the medical office, all staff members are required to wear a mask. In late July, eye protection was added as a requirement. All patients older than 2 and any accompanying adults are required to wear a mask during the visit. In addition, only one adult per child is allowed to visit at a time.

More than 8,000 children under 21 are under the care of the five pediatricians who practice in the NorthBay Center for Primary Care facilities in Vacaville, Fairfield and Green Valley.

“The message isn’t to panic parents, but to encourage them to make the appointment now and get their child back on track with immunizations to keep them and their family members safe,” she said. “Don’t wait any longer.”

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