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Local expert warns of fewer childhood vaccinations during pandemic

Doctors see drop in vaccination, checkups for children during stay-at-home orders
Posted at 6:25 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 07:58:33-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Recent reports from the CDC show doctors have given fewer childhood vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic, possibly because parents are worried about taking their children to the doctor’s office right now.

“Whenever you delay your vaccination, even by a day, that’s an extra day of opportunity for the child to get that vaccine-preventable disease,” said Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician, Dr. Juan Dumois.

The CDC warns vaccinations are essential to avoid outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and keep children protected.

RELATED: Florida seeing decline in child vaccinations, DeSantis says

“You could see children catching the vaccine-preventable diseases that may not have otherwise because they caught the disease within a few weeks of when they would’ve been vaccinated,” said Dumois.

Experts say unvaccinated or under-vaccinated kids will be at risk.

Dumois says his big concern is we may be leading ourselves to future outbreaks.

“A lot of the families who haven’t been vaccinating their kids have been benefiting from herd immunity where most families have been vaccinating their kids,” said Dumois.

“If enough people haven’t been vaccinating their kids because of the pandemic, due to very valid concerns, then the herd immunity rates may drop to a point where we start seeing outbreaks,” he continued.

Doctors want parents to know it is safe to take your child to the doctor’s office for routine exams and vaccines.

“Most doctors and emergency centers that see children have implemented enough precautions where it is safe to take your child to the doctor,” said Dumois.