Don’t let fear of the coronavirus prevent you from making sure your children’s immunizations are up to date.
Wayne Pediatrics and the Detroit Health Department will conduct a “Vaccines for Kids” drive-through immunization clinic Oct. 10 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the new 400 Mack Detroit Health Center in Midtown Detroit.
Free immunizations, including flu shots, will be available for Detroit children ages 6 weeks to 18 years. The event will provide convenient and easy access to immunizations in a safe and friendly
setting, with all staff wearing appropriate protective equipment.
Vaccination appointments can be made at 313-876-4667. A drive-up scheduling service is also available the day of the event.
Parents should bring their children’s immunization records if possible.
Vaccines for the following illnesses will be provided: tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, polio, rotavirus, pneumococcal, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox), meningococcal, human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is grabbing the spotlight, children still face the real threat of measles, whooping cough and influenza, especially if their immunizations are delayed or missed due to hesitation to seek routine medical care,” said Eric McGrath, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics for the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne Pediatrics. “The benefit of large populations being effectively immunized, also known as herd immunity, wanes if large pockets of children are not up-to-date on their immunizations, and this is how outbreaks can occur in communities.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has apparently affected the rate of childhood vaccinations across the nation, and in Michigan. The New York Times reported this summer that childhood vaccination rates dropped significantly because parents were reluctant to schedule visits to doctors out of fear of the coronavirus. Children have fallen behind on vaccinations for measles and pertussis. The newspaper also reported that a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated vaccination rates in May for Michigan children younger than 2 dropped to “alarming rates.”
Based on data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, which tracks immunizations, the study also showed that children on Medicaid in the state were even more likely to be behind on their vaccinations. Only 34.6% of children covered by Medicaid were current on vaccinations, compared with 55% of children not on Medicaid.
“Stay-at-home orders and parents’ fears about contracting COVID-19 at a doctor’s office may have kept them from scheduling visits, but skipping visits has repercussions beyond vaccines,” said Beena Sood, M.D., a pediatrician and associate dean for Professional Development for the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “Children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential services and help make sure children are protected.”
Call 313-448-9600 to schedule your child for Wayne Pediatrics primary or sub-specialty care visits.