Immunizations remain key during COVID era

Health experts have issued an important reminder for parents: COVID-19 prevention shouldn’t translate to skipping children’s vaccines.

Students entering school for the first time need vaccinations as well as vision, hearing, dental and nutrition screenings. Also, children born on or after January 1, 2002, who are attending seventh grade, and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12, must have one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. The HPV vaccine is also recommended for both girls and boys ages 11–12 to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get most of their vaccines by age 2. Despite that recommendation, statistics show that fewer kids have been getting their vaccines during the coronavirus crisis.

Here are some illnesses and infections that vaccines prevent.

Infants and toddlers (birth to age 2 years)

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis)

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)

Chickenpox

Pneumococcus

Hepatitis A and B

Polio

Haemophilus

Rotavirus

Preschoolers and school-aged kids (ages 3 to 10)

DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis)

MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)

Chickenpox

Polio

Pneumococcus (for high-risk patients)

Preteens and teens (ages 11 to 18)

HPV

Meningitis

Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis)

To schedule an appointment at Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Pediatrics (Camden), call 912-673-8000 or learn more at sghs.org/peds. Or, to find a pediatrician close to home, call the Health System’s free provider referral line at 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447).

For more information on COVID-19 and how to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit sghs.org/covid-19. Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including but not limited to unexplained cough, fever, and shortness of breath, should call the health system’s screening hotline: 912-466-7222.

— The Brunswick News

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