BOSTON (CBS) — With all the attention on scientists racing to find a COVID-19 vaccine, there is a new warning for parents: don’t forget about the more traditional immunizations for your children.
Some doctors worry that fear of going out during the pandemic will mean some kids won’t get critical vaccines, putting them at risk of getting seriously ill. So a special clinic is underway at the Dr. Gerald Hass Center of the South End Community Health Center in Boston.
“We’re trying to get in as many people as we can to get their vaccines and also a checkup if they need it, to keep everyone on schedule despite the fact that we’re dealing with a pandemic,” said Dr. Robyn Riseberg, the Center’s pediatric director.
She said it is crucial to keep kids current for their immunizations. “We don’t want anything spreading right now, including COVID-19, and we certainly don’t want there to be a measles outbreak or a pertussis outbreak or something else that we know we could have prevented.”
The problem is, some parents are afraid to bring their kids to a doctor’s office while the coronavirus is still a threat. To make families feel more comfortable, the clinic is taking all the precautions.
“They checked our temperature, made sure they had masks for us out there, gloves, sanitizer,” said Dariana Gonzalez, who brought her daughter to the clinic for immunizations.
“I was kind of nervous getting the shots,” said Kiany as she sits on an exam table. But she and her mother put that behind them.
“I get nervous watching the news, but I wasn’t hesitant because it seems like they are doing a really good job keeping everybody safe,” said her mother Sharon Troncoso.
“There are many things we can’t protect children from and this pandemic is only showing us that. But the ones we can, it’s our job and our duty to do that,” said Riseberg.
The South End Community Health Center started the vaccine clinics just last week. They also provide food and clothing to help families through the crisis.