Everyone is essential! Make sure your children get the essential immunizations for their health

May 14, 2020

Washing your hands and physical distancing are helping us prevent COVID-19 spread, just like keeping up on immunizations helps prevent many other dangerous illnesses.

Immunizations are key to maintaining children’s health. From babies to teenagers, if your child is scheduled for a routine vaccination, don’t wait! Well-child visits and routine immunizations are important, especially now. Children keep growing and it’s important that they stay on track with checkups and vaccinations.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and clinics have taken precautions to ensure necessary health care appointments can occur, such as staggered appointment scheduling, increased hand hygiene, required masking, safe entrance check-in processes, waiting areas spaced for physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting of exam rooms and common areas, telemedicine, and increased testing and screening of health care workers. Learn about the how we’re keeping patients and staff safe at ANMC by clicking here.

Changes like these mean hospitals and clinics are among the safest places to go as more areas reopen and allow Tribal health providers to get back to keeping patients healthy and on track for regular checkups, such as well-baby visits and recommended immunization schedules. Contact your health provider about appointment options.

Lower vaccine rates are a risk to Alaskans’ health

Health care providers across Alaska have noted decreases in the number of child immunizations provided in March, April and May. Postponing immunization visits could increase the risk of a communicable vaccine-preventable disease outbreak in the midst of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For children ages 2 and under, it is especially important to maintain regularly scheduled well-check appointments and stay up to date on immunizations despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Well-child visits and vaccinations for young children are necessary to monitor early growth and help them build immunity to preventable diseases. If you are unsure if your child is up to date or in need of a vaccine, please contact your health care provider to check their record.

Help protect the health of your child, your family and others in the community by staying on track for immunizations. If you’ve had to cancel an appointment, you can reschedule with your child’s health care provider to make sure your child’s vaccines are up to date.

What can parents do?

  1. Make an immunization appointment with your health care provider, or call to see if your child is up to date.
  2. Check the recommended vaccinations for children from birth to age 6.
  3. Check the recommended vaccinations for children from 7-18 years old.

Assistance for Tribal partners from ANTHC Immunization Program

The ANTHC Immunization Program works to eliminate disparities in vaccine-preventable disease in Alaska Native people through immunization. ANTHC’s Immunization Program works with statewide Tribal health partners to coordinate and advocate for the needs of Tribal immunization programs, and educate Tribal staff on immunization recommendations and vaccine-preventable disease.

The program facilitates educational opportunities for a variety of health care providers throughout the Alaska Tribal Health System, including:

  • Quarterly regional immunization coordinator meetings via webinar with updates on immunization-related topics
  • Community Health Aide/Practitioner (CHA/P) training offered in person through the Electronic Community Health Aide Manual (eCHAM) and online
  • Vaccinator training for health care providers
  • Immunization coordinator responsibility training
  • Educational resources and promotional materials

Learn more about the ANTHC Immunization Program by clicking here.

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