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Vaccinations for children have declined during the pandemic; Doctors encourage vaccines

Health & Fitness

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BOISE — Health officials have seen a decline in routine care appointments, but they’re also worried about a decline in children getting vaccinated during the pandemic.

“In the past one of the ways that we have been able to make sure kids are getting those vaccines is they can’t go to school unless they show evidence,” Regence BlueShield Executive Medical Director Dr. Jim Polo said.

But, with some schools delayed and others starting the year remotely because of COVID-19, they have no way of checking them.

“We’ve noticed vaccines for children have gone down in terms of keeping them current, and then there are some parents that don’t want to get their kids vaccinated and they are relying on other kids to be vaccinated,” Polo said. “But we know if we do not vaccinate kids for some of the diseases that we know we can protect them from then there are more risks that those will come back and be a problem too.”

“It’s a big worry because as we get into the winter months and we still have coronavirus, it’s very important children get their immunizations,” Primary Health Medical Group Pediatrician, Dr. David Peterman said.

He said that it’s important for children to get their vaccinations on time, and not wait.

“We know there are certain vaccinations that do a wonderful job at protecting children from getting bad illnesses, and you have to get them at certain times in your life to maximize their effectiveness,” said Peterman said.

“So it’s going to be very important especially when schools do start reopening, and they will, kids need to get all caught up with their vaccines,” said Dr. Polo.