LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Health experts fear that children will fall behind on vaccines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Decline in pediatric visits during pandemic puts kids behind on vaccinations

  • Pediatricians say it's safe to bring children in for wellness checks

  • Flu shot recommended for children this fall

A decline in pediatric visits during the COVID-19 pandemic has put many children behind the curve on routine vaccinations, a trend that could put the community at risk.

“It’s kind of amazing how much a two or three-month break in doing normal vaccinations can actually put kids behind,” said Dr. Sayeed Khan, a pediatrician at Norton Children’s Fern Creek.

Parents should be aware that even a small amount of exposure could expose children to infectious diseases that aren't as well known, such as pertussis, hepatitis A, meningitis and others.

“Measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, as well as pneumococcal viruses, these are important vaccines that kids need to get,” said Kahn.

Khan and other pediatricians want to encourage parents that it is safe to take children for a wellness check. Children are required to have certain vaccinations to return to school whenever that happens. He doesn’t want parents to wait until the last minute when they expect an uptick in patients. 

He recommends for families to consider getting their child a flu shot in September or October.

Norton Children’s Medical Associates offices have taken steps to make visits safer during the coronavirus outbreak. These include:

  • Patients can avoid the waiting room. Parents can check-in via the MyNortonChart and the office will call you and let you know when they are ready for you to come into the building.
  • Offices have extra disinfecting procedures for each room after every patient.
  • Providers use separate rooms for sick children and healthy children.
  • Everyone over two years old is required to wear a mask.
  • Only one parent can accompany the patient, if possible.