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Pediatricians say children still need crucial vaccines, flu shot amid the pandemic

School districts across the Tri-State are getting questions from parents, teachers and even...
School districts across the Tri-State are getting questions from parents, teachers and even students about what to expect this fall.(FOX19 NOW)
Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:42 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Recent studies show that childhood vaccinations have dropped off since the coronavirus has been spreading in the U.S.

Some parents are still nervous about taking their kids to see the pediatrician, but pediatricians say they still need to see your kids for routine health maintenance.

Among the most crucial vaccines children need are the Tdap, MMR, along with polio and chicken pox when kids first start kindergarten or prekindergarten.

For incoming 6th grade students, tetanus, meningitis, and the recommended HPV vaccine.

Additionally, a booster dose of Tdap is now required for all students entering the 7th grade.

For parents who might be nervous about bringing their child to the doctor’s office, there are new measures for social distancing.

For instance, no more waiting in the lobby.

“Within Carilion Children’s we’ve changed flows, and I’m sure offices everywhere are doing it. Most of them have kids waiting in the parking lot or get them straight to an exam room, so there’s no crossover,” Dr. Christopher Pierce is a pediatrician with Carilion Pediatric Associates, said.

While his office isn’t seeing a lot of sniffles right now, Dr. Pierce has a reminder for families: get the flu shot. He expects it’ll become available in September.

“Even those who have been hesitant in the past, I highly recommend getting the flu vaccine this year. Just realizing we have the pandemic, if we can keep some of the preventable epidemic diseases away, then that would be so big,” Pierce said.

The main takeaway for parents is do what you can to prevent what you can: “The more things that we can keep contained, the easier it will be do potentially to contain the coronavirus,” the doctor said.

Click here for details on required immunizations in Virginia public schools.

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