Health Officials Urge Parents To Update Children's Vaccines, Especially Now

Aug 11, 2020

Fear of COVID-19 transmission is keeping families out of doctors’ offices. The Oregon Health Authority says because of that, children are falling behind on vaccinations.

With school buildings closed, the typical call from a nurse or administrator about vaccination updates won't be coming this Fall. That leaves parents responsible for checking with health care providers about what vaccines their child might be missing.
Credit Oregon Health Authority

In the midst of a pandemic, health officials want this message to be heard: vaccine-preventable diseases are still a threat.  And public health departments don’t want to see an outbreak of a preventable disease, like measles, on top of COVID-19.

Normally, families are informed of a child’s vaccination and booster status by a public school nurse or administrator. But closures have changed that.

Dr. Claire Poche is a physician with Oregon Health Authority. In a video message, she tells parents to call their health care provider and find out what vaccines their child may be missing.

"We want to make sure students are fully vaccinated,” Poche said, “so they are protected in whatever form their school looks like: in a classroom, in a small group cohort, or online at home with their family."

Poche said the Vaccines for Children program offers free vaccinations for families who can’t afford them.