Avera Medical Minute: Keeping up with immunization schedule during pandemic

Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 10:46 PM CDT
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Rachel Yaggie is bringing in five-year-old Ruby and 20-month-old Lily to see their pediatrician.

"When we first decided to have kids, my husband and I, you know, made the decision that we were going to vaccinate our kids so, we found a doctor that would help us keep us on schedule," said Yaggie.

Dr. Kara Bruning understands why vaccination schedules were disrupted when COVID-19 became a concern.

"Initially, that was a good idea because we were trying to flatten the curve. People did a great job about staying home and wearing their masks to help with flattening the curve. But now it's better," said Dr. Bruning.

What's happened in the last three months though is a growing list of kiddos who need to get caught up now on vaccinations. Rachel was impressed at all the precautions at their appointment.

"(We were) told to wear a mask, and then when we came in they took all of our temperatures. When we came up the elevator they had a glass screen in front of the receptionist, and I had to fill out some paperwork and they clean the clipboard before they gave it to me," said Yaggie. And then instead of coming to sit in the waiting room to wait for the doctor to come, they just told us what room we were in. We went straight into that room. So there's no sitting in the waiting room, where a bunch of people are going to be or anything like that."

They even changed how appointments are scheduled.

"We're seeing the well kids up in the morning and even the early afternoon and then the sick kids after that. So if you come in at a time where we're addressing well kids there won't be sick kids around," said Dr. Bruning.

If your kids are due for vaccinations, it's time to make an appointment.

"We don't want measles to break out, going around right now or pertussis. All these diseases are still out there. The only one they really eradicated is smallpox, so all the rest of them can still happen. So it's super important to bring your child in to vaccinate them. We don't need that going around as well. We want to keep them safe and protected," said Dr. Bruning.

When kids' vaccinations are up to date, parents and their pediatricians have peace of mind.

"You'd rather work with little kids than adults," I asked.

"Absolutely. Kids are the best," said Dr. Bruning.

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