Is Your Child Behind on Vaccinations? Now’s the Time to Catch Up
Sticking to your child’s immunization schedule is more important than ever.
Life right now is busier than ever. So it’s not a surprise that many children have missed their vaccines in the last year. This is concerning because when children miss a vaccine for a disease, they don’t have full protection from it. It also means they could get that disease and give it to other children and adults.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents stay on track with their child’s immunization schedule. Vaccinating your child on time is the best thing you can do to protect them.
Missed a vaccine? It’s easy to catch up.
If your child has missed a vaccination, don’t worry. According to the CDC, you don’t need to start over, but you should make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible. If they’ve missed a few doses, your doctor may want to schedule more than one visit.
Why it’s important to follow the recommended vaccination schedule
There are some very serious – and sometimes deadly – diseases that your child’s immune system may not be strong enough to handle. Vaccines give them immunity to those diseases and illnesses, so skipping or delaying a dose means if they’re exposed to one, they might not be able to fight it off.
The childhood vaccination schedule is based on recommendations from medical and public health experts. They review a number of factors, including: vaccine safety and effectiveness; the severity of the disease being vaccinated against; and how the vaccine works at different ages. Following the schedule ensures that your child is protected from serious diseases at exactly the right time. Learn more about why on time vaccination matters.
What if I am worried about going to a doctor’s office?
Health clinics and offices across the country are taking extra precautions to protect you and your child from COVID-19 so that everyone can get care in the safest way possible. When scheduling your child’s visit, you may want to ask about what protocols they have in place. These might include:
- A face mask requirement for staff and visitors
- Social distancing of at least six feet during check-in, as well as in the waiting area and exam rooms (when possible)
- A limit on the number of people who can be in the clinic at any one time
- Temperature checks and screening questions for staff and patients
If you have more questions or concerns about vaccines, talk to your child’s doctor. Children with certain medical conditions might have special vaccine needs. If it’s been a while since your child has seen their pediatrician, you can log in to your online account to find their contact information and schedule a visit.
You can also learn more on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.