Local doctors weigh in vaccine significance with school starting

Published: Aug. 23, 2020 at 1:39 PM CDT
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NORTHERN ILLINOIS (WIFR) - With many kids gearing up to head back to school whether that be virtual or in person, doctors are seeing an uptick in appointments.

Local physicians say now is the time to make sure you're vaccinated and stay on the normal schedule because if you don't you may have to start it over again.

"Vaccinations are definitely important to keeping your child healthy," says OSF Healthcare Pediatrician, Robin Punsalan.

Punsalan says back to school season is an important time to get kids in to do their well visits.

"Those are the things that help reduce the spread of infectious diseases," says SwedishAmerican Director of Pharmacy, Thomas Carey.

Carey says very few medications have been studied more than vaccines, "We have a tremendous amount of experience in history all over the world as far as the safety. And what we know is that vaccines prevent disease."

Carey also says these days there are twice as many vaccines to treat twice as many diseases, "So we have a really high comfort level about the comparison between the efficacy of those particular products and the safety."

SwedishAmerican General Pediatrician, Errol Baptist, says it is optimal that kids, especially those who are going into preschool or kindergarten get all of their shots, "It's important that every single vaccine be given at the right time. And there should be no deferral, even if they've had the same shot before. Because it is important that they boost their immunity."

Doctor Baptist also stresses getting the flu shot this year, “It’s important that you get the flu shot, because if you don’t get the flu shot and you come down with the flu it’ll be hard to tell whether that’s the flu or the COVID virus.”

“This year definitely important because of how much school that you can miss if you get sick and so let’s try to take one less thing off that table and keep kids healthy and in school,” says Punsalan.

Statistics show every year after a bad flu outbreak, the vaccination rate goes up. Now with COVID in play, local doctors expect vaccinations to go up this year as well.

Even though the peak in flu season isn’t until February, doctors recommend when the vaccination becomes available, to go out and get it as soon as possible.

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