As parents prepare their children to head into the academic school year there has been a lot of talk of masking and children of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine but what about their pediatric and adolescent vaccinations?
Dr. Kathy Kudish, immunization program manager at the state Department of Public Health says, between quarantine and everything else going on with the pandemic, getting kids their updated vaccinations might not have been top of mind for parents.
"We fill vaccine orders for pediatricians in the state. Nearly all of the vaccines come through the department. What we saw was a drop in vaccine orders during the pandemic and the drop in orders was at their lowest levels at the height of the pandemic," Kudish said.
The orders have since rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, she said, but the rebound is not enough to make up for that deficit.
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Kudish said that in the times we’re living in now, it’s imperative that students are up to date with all shots possible.
So the more children who are unvaccinated in a school environment, the more risk there is of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in school and it could spread more easily, Kudish added.
But these parents said it’s all about safety and making good choices.
"I think it’s really important for us, personally. to get our kids vaccinated," said Julia Zajac, whose daughter is going to kindergarten this fall.
Zajac said, it’s nice to know, hopefully, the majority of the students will be vaccinated when her daughter enters kindergarten in the fall and it will be one less thing to worry about.
"It’s important to make an informed decision with your doctor," Liz Coello, a mom of teenagers, said. "We always trust medical experts but also people that we know that got those vaccines - some vaccines we chose not to do for our teens but again we all have to make an individual decision."