One of our biggest worries about COVID-19 has been indirect effects of the pandemic on child and teen health, as families limit doctor’s visits along with other outings. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stressed the importance of pediatric primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and particularly the importance of maintaining high vaccination rates to prevent life-threatening disease. We were disappointed to see recent information about vaccine delivery to children and teens reported in the New York Times. In Massachusetts, the state health department said its vaccine doses were down 68 percent in the first two weeks of April, compared with the previous year. And Minnesota reported that its doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine dropped by 71 percent toward the end of March! We worry outbreaks of measles, pertussis, and other vaccine preventable, life-threatening diseases will follow COVID-19.
Please help us prevent vaccine preventable disease in our community.
At Sandhills Pediatrics, all patients and their families are screened for fever and respiratory symptoms when appointments are made. Every family is greeted when they arrive, often before they even enter the office, and re-screened. Each office is essentially separated into two halves. Well checks and similar appointments have their own side of the office, with dedicated well-only check-in staff, nurses, and providers. We haven’t used the waiting room in weeks! If an exam room is not immediately available, families wait in their cars until they can go straight to a room. We maintain appropriate social distances, wash our hands, and wear masks at all times.
We are confident coming to Sandhills Pediatrics and we want you to be too!