Routine vaccines for kids taking hit again due to COVID-19 case surge

PITTSBURGH — While the focus for the last year and a half has been on the COVID-19 vaccine, doctors are worried that routine annual vaccines kids need are being put off.

“It’s not necessarily vaccine hesitancy, but a delay in vaccines due to fear of leaving the house, going to the doctor’s office during the peak of the pandemic,” said Allegheny Health Network’s associate chair of pediatrics Dr. Joseph Aracri.

He said AHN doctors are now making it a priority to get kids in for their shots.

“We were actively calling patients who missed check ups, calling patients that were in need of immunizations and making sure they need to come in and that it’s safe to come to our offices,” Aracri said.

Despite fears of catching COVID-19, Heather Downey made sure her kids had their check ups.

“I think there was hesitation just to go to the doctor’s office as there was even before COVID-19, but they made it really safe with the masks and extra sanitizer and sanitizing of tools,” she said.

She said it’s concerning some parents are putting off appointments with school starting up in less than a month.

“We don’t want those old time things to pop up again,” Downey said.