Is your child up-to-date on their vaccines?

Health

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children have missed routine vaccinations. Health officials in Charleston are urging parents to make sure their children get vaccinated to help prevent another outbreak of preventable diseases. 

According to national data, many parents and legal guardians say the pandemic has interrupted their child’s vaccine schedules, but experts say now is not the time to not have your child vaccinated. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield says an estimated nine million children won’t get scheduled vaccines this year. Experts say it’s scary. 

“That is something that has alarmed us since the beginning of the pandemic because when things were shut down children were not getting their well child-checks which means they were not getting the routine vaccinations,” Dr. Sherri Young, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said.

Dr. Young says earlier this year Kanawha County was around 50% from where it would typically be for school-age vaccinations like MMR, polio, measles, whooping cough and more. 

“Make it a priority that yes we want to protect children from COVID-19, but the other thing we do not want to see in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic is a measles outbreak or a kid getting sick for other reasons that are completely preventable from vaccines,” Dr. Young said.

West Virginia Health Right CEO Angie Settle says parents have been focused on COVID-19 and may be scared to go to doctors’ offices, but it needs to be done.

“There’s a certain threshold of a percentage that we need to get to in a population to make sure everybody is safe. They call it herd immunity. It’s different for each vaccine, but it ranges 80, 90, 95%. If you don’t hit that threshold then it’s basically an open door for disease to come in,” Settle said.

 Dr. Young says the health department is a safe place to get your child vaccinated if you’re unable to make it to your primary provider. 

“We do childhood vaccinations and the way that we do our COVID testing is on one end of the public & outside and the way we do our immunizations we will keep your children safe and keep them immunized,” Dr. Young said.

To get your child vaccinated, just schedule an appointment with the Kanawha -Charleston Health Department.

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