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Cleveland Clinic – Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows childhood immunizations declined during the pandemic, which could put children at risk for diseases that are preventable with vaccines.
Adam Keating, MD, a pediatrician with Cleveland Clinic Children’s, said it’s never too late to catch up on vaccinations if your child missed a dose.
“If they are behind, the best time for them to have gotten the vaccine is yesterday and the next best time is today. And, we do have schedules to be able to catch kids back up for the vast majority of vaccines if they’ve missed some,” he said.
Dr. Keating said vaccinations are usually top of mind as kids head back to school.
He said certain vaccines are often mandated when entering kindergarten and seventh grade.
In addition to those, he recommends parents with preteens ask about the HPV vaccine, which can prevent certain types of cancer later in life.
A flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age.
This school year, for kids 12 and older, he also advises getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
“It really is our way out of this pandemic and we want to protect the kids just as much as we want to protect the adults and communities around them,” explained Dr. Keating. “Both flu and COVID vaccines, really, their best use is to keep people out of the hospital and to keep from getting seriously ill.” If you have questions about immunizations your child is scheduled to receive, Dr. Keating encourages parents to call their pediatrician.