With the new school season about to begin, pediatricians are stressing the importance of children getting all routine vaccinations. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a perfect time to highlight this need and gain insight from UT Physicians experts.
Since 2020, the American Academy of Pediatrics has been focused on the dramatic reduction in childhood vaccinations and wellness appointments. This, of course, was all a direct result of the pandemic and its uncertainty.
Although doctor’s offices have long since welcomed patients back, pediatric experts still see a decline in these necessary visits and vaccinations.
“All parents need to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up to date, including the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Sandra L. McKay, MD, pediatrician with UT Physicians and associate professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Checking with your pediatrician is important to know if your child is fully protected. We know that vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of disease.”
Kenya Parks, MD, pediatrician with UT Physicians, warns even though we are still in the midst of a pandemic, other viruses and bacteria are still out there in our community that can impact children.
“A recent example of vulnerability is the rise of other viruses and bacteria, including RSV, a common respiratory illness,” said Parks, associate professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School. “While we can’t protect our children against everything, parents can help protect them against preventable illnesses by keeping up with pediatric appointments and vaccinations.”
In addition to the need for routine immunizations, like the ones for measles and flu, both Parks and McKay recommend the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for children beginning at the age of 6 months.
For parents and caregivers interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our pediatric experts, visit our Children’s Health page or call us at 888-488-3627.
“We’re here to help and care for your children in a holistic manner to set them up for success in the approaching school year,” said Parks.