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Concern over Spread of COVID-19 Causing Parents to Not Vaccinate Their Children

Health Official Says Childhood Immunizations are Vital to Children’s Health, Adding Health Care Organizations are Taking Important Steps to Ensure Patient Safety During Pandemic


PASADENA, Calif. ~ At a time when many parents are concerned about exposing their young children to the novel coronavirus, some are postponing or even canceling appointments to vaccinate their children against childhood diseases – a decision that can have dire consequences.

“Pediatricians are always concerned when we see a drop in immunization rates since this could lead to an increase in vaccine preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough,” said Dr. Mark B. Salzman, regional lead, pediatric infectious diseases, with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “If vaccination rates decline, we may possibly see an increase in some vaccine preventable diseases that can have dire consequences on children’s health.”

For parents concerned that vaccinating their children will damage their immune system or result in autism spectrum disorder, Dr. Salzman stressed numerous studies have shown there is no such link.  “There’s no evidence to that effect at all,” he stressed.

At Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Salzman said a drop in childhood vaccinations started in March, when
stay-at-home orders were issued. As the shelter-in-place directive has been lifted, the vaccination rate has improved, but remains below average.

Dr. Salzman urged parents not to jeopardize their children’s health by not vaccinating them against common childhood diseases, which pose significant risks to infants and young children who are not immunized. Last year, a measles outbreak occurred across the country due to lack of immunizations.

Although some people are hesitant to vaccinate their children, studies have repeatedly shown that most childhood vaccines are 90 to 99 percent effective in preventing disease and protect our society against the spread of disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several important achievements have been reached in controlling vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Routine childhood immunization among children born 1994-2018 will prevent an estimated 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations and 936,000 early deaths over the course of their lifetimes, at a net savings of $406 billion in direct costs and $1.9 trillion in total societal costs.
  • Through immunization, we can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age 2.
  • Vaccines have drastically reduced infant death and disability caused by preventable diseases in the U.S.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care organizations have taken important steps to ensure their patients’ safety, and to reassure them that visiting a medical facility for any health reason remains safe, and is critically important to protect one’s health,” Dr. Salzman said.

For instance, all Kaiser Permanente medical facilities screen members’ temperatures before they are allowed into the building, he explained. Patients who are sick are often seen in a different area, or are brought in through a different entrance to a separate area. Some locations also have drive-thru vaccination sites for people who prefer not to enter a medical office building.

“It’s understandable that some parents have questions about the safety of their children and vaccines,” Dr. Salzman noted. “However, the evidence is clear – vaccination is safe, and we’re taking the necessary steps to ensure our patients’ safety.”

  • Eva Williams says:

    A very strange tendency is actually being talked about lately. For some reason, a lot of people say that there is a problem with this. Type of chipping, towers 5g, lol. But in reality, you need to properly filter information about anything. Of course, in some way we can avoid some diseases. And some are not as scary as they are painted. But excuse me, you need to get these vaccinations!