Public health tries to catch up after many children miss regular vaccinations during peak of pandemic
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health is urging parents to schedule their students for all required immunizations before they return to school. Medical experts say many children did not receive these regular vaccinations last year due to the coronavirus disruption.
The Medical Director of Public Health says there’s no way of knowing how many children are behind on their vaccines, but he says it’s probably a significant number. And if these students don’t catch up, they could be exposed to dangerous illnesses.
Dr Michael Dohn says: “I think the disruption of childhood vaccines is not so much a hesitation as it is simply a disruption of usual processes.
Dr Dohn says many people simply did not receive medical care during the peak of the pandemic, and that includes children who usually receive the vaccines required for school. “As a result, we have children who will likely need to catch up to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their playmates.”
Different ages are needed to get different vaccines. Among the vaccinations that Public Health encourages parents to schedule include diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, chickenpox and meningococcus.
Dr Dohn says, “It’s not that we are trying to enforce the law, or that schools enforce the law. The point is, he’s there for a reason. And that is to ensure the safety of children.
NEXT… Public health explains how catching up on missed vaccinations will keep children safe:
Public Health will offer the vaccines at its clinic in the Reibold Building at 117 S. Main St. Parents must bring their insurance information, but no one will be denied service due to inability to pay.
Dr Dohn says some new parents may not be familiar with the required vaccines, but it’s the smart thing to do and it’s part of responsible parenting. “It’s the same sort of thing except that instead of reacting to what happened, it’s to prevent something from happening. And that is just good medical care for children. He adds, “The vaccination rate will not be that high, so that’s a concern. “
If students missed vaccinations last year, not catching up now could put them at risk. Dr Dohn says immunizing children against preventable diseases is no different from other essential medical care. “As if you have a child who is injured, you take him to the emergency room. If you have a feverish child who gets sick, you want to take them to the pediatrician.
The DPS declined the opportunity to talk about the upcoming school year, but documents available online indicate that the district will monitor the latest information from health authorities.
The DPS will not require masks for people who have been vaccinated as of July 1, but masks are still recommended for students and staff who have not been vaccinated.
Dr Dohn says: “The effort is really to identify who has been vaccinated, to identify who, for whatever reason, may have fallen behind. And then see if we can make amends so that children can get vaccinated and be safe. “