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Cleveland Clinic reminds parents to keep routine vaccinations up-to-date during COVID-19 pandemic

The Cleveland Clinic says protecting children against influenza, measles and other vaccine-preventable illnesses is more important than ever during COVID-19.

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic is reminding parents to add vaccinations to their “back to school” to-do list.

“It’s really important that children stay up to date on routine vaccines to avoid creating a different problem –a  vaccine-preventable illnesses,” said Skyler Kalady, MD, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, in a release.  “As we await the arrival of a safe COVID vaccine, we are reminded how critical vaccines are in keeping our patients and our community safe.”

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Dr. Kalady said it’s very important now to protect your children against diseases for which vaccines exist, including measles and whooping cough, as well as the flu.

“It’s especially important this year to vaccinate your child for influenza as early as possible in the season,” she said. “This will make influenza much less likely, as well as reduce the worrisome possibility of getting both influenza and COVID at the same time.”

A call to your child’s pediatrician can verify if his or her vaccinations are up to date. 

As a final reminder, Dr. Kalady said parents should not be afraid to take their children to the doctor’s office during the pandemic, noting that providers are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe.

Last month, WHO and UNICEF warned of “ an alarming decline in the number of children receiving life-saving vaccines around the world. This is due to disruptions in the delivery and uptake of immunization services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. … these disruptions threaten to reverse hard-won progress to reach more children and adolescents with a wider range of vaccines, which has already been hampered by a decade of stalling coverage.”

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.