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CHKD urges parents to keep up with vaccinations

One doctor says parents might have some anxiety about bringing their children to the doctor's office during this time. But he says that fear is misplaced.

NORFOLK, Va. — CHKD Medical Group practices are seeing an alarming decline in vaccinations during the pandemic.

“Over the last month we’ve seen vaccinations drop in kids for things like MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis A, things like that,” said CHKD Pediatrician Dr. John Harrington.

Dr. Harrington said some parents fear going to the doctor’s office could expose them to COVID-19.

The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recently did a survey on 111 Virginia pediatric providers. Their research found fewer children are being vaccinated right now.

For instance, administration of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines to infants during a week in April was only 70 percent of the volume administered during a week in early March.

If the vaccination decline continues, Dr. Harrington said there will be outbreaks of diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox.

“The thing that we want to put out to parents is that we are doing everything we can to prevent any type of spread within our practices,” Dr. Harrington said.

Dr. Harrington said they are doing well visits only in the morning, along with following strict CDC guidelines and practicing social distancing. He also said there have been very few pediatric COVID cases in the state.

“The risk of you getting exposed in our practices is very low,” Dr. Harrington said.

He said they are particularly asking parents with children under the age of 2 to keep up with vaccinations.

CHKD is also conducting telehealth visits whenever possible.

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