During the pandemic, routine doctor visits and vaccinations are more important (and safe) than ever.
As a parent, your child’s health and safety is your first priority. With Louisiana’s Phase 2 reopening process extended, you might still be wary of bringing your kids to the doctor’s office for their vaccinations, wellness checkup, and annual visits. But missing essential care appointments—particularly for immunizations—can actually leave children exposed to other illnesses that present a greater threat than COVID-19, says Dr. Brooke Bock, practicing pediatrician at St. Francis Pediatrics at West Feliciana Hospital.
“This topic comes up several times daily in my practice with parents who want to postpone important well checks and vaccines. This will subsequently lead to a whole different set of problems, such as a measles or varicella (chickenpox) outbreak in our community,” says Dr. Bock. “We make a strong effort to separate the timing of well visits and sick visits to keep everyone safe.”
Why Routine Vaccinations are Important
Routine vaccines prevent lasting health problems associated with common illnesses such as mumps, measles, pertussis (whooping cough), and the flu. To avoid a surge in these preventable illnesses, the best course of action you can take as a parent is to keep your child’s vaccinations up to date. What’s more, adds Dr. Bock, the infection rate for COVID-19 in children is low, and kids who contract the virus generally experience only mild cases.
To keep patients safe St. Francis Pediatrics has put extra precautions in place. Staff screen patients before they enter the clinic, limit the number of visitors who may accompany a patient, follow social distancing guidelines in waiting rooms, and thoroughly clean examination rooms between visits. If your child is ill and/or experiencing respiratory symptoms, alert your doctor’s office prior to your appointment. St. Francis Pediatrics also offers telehealth visits for all medication refills, including ADD/ADHD prescriptions, and select sick visits. Call the office at (225) 635-4500 to schedule an appointment.