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Florida seeing decline in child vaccinations, DeSantis says

Florida seeing decline in child vaccinations, governor says
Posted at 5:25 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 05:25:01-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Florida is seeing a decline in child immunizations because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Monday.

Speaking at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers, the governor urged parents to continue following the proper vaccination guidelines for your children.

"We have seen measles outbreaks in different parts of the country just before all this started," DeSantis said. "So if you're not keeping up on that, that's a problem."

Gov. DeSantis stresses importance of childhood immunizations

WPTV recently spoke to parents who said they're delaying their childrens' vaccinations so they don't have to go to the pediatrician’s office and potentially expose their kids to the virus.

But DeSantis assured families on Monday that doctor's offices and hospitals are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe.

"These are very safe places to be," DeSantis said. "Follow the immunization schedule, continue to do it. It's safe to do it, and it's the right thing to do."

The American Academy of Pediatrics is encouraging pediatricians to modify their clinical space and schedule during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the changes the AAP recommends:

  • Pediatricians may choose to only conduct well visits for newborns, infants, and younger children who require immunizations, and to reschedule well visits for those in middle childhood and adolescence to a later date
  • Pediatricians may choose to limit well visits to early morning and sick visits to the afternoon
  • Pediatricians are encouraged to dedicate specific rooms for well visits and sick visits
  • Pediatricians may choose to increase their capacity to deliver telehealth
  • If available, pediatricians are encouraged to utilize drive-through COVID-19 testing

The Florida Department of Health requires children entering child care facilities and family day care homes to have the proper age-appropriate vaccines.

To see the recommended child vaccination schedule from the AAP, click here.