SOUTHWEST FLORIDA — A family nurse practitioner urging parents to make sure their child is up-to-date on vaccinations.
The World Health Organization reported 23 million kids missed their routine immunization for the basic vaccines last year. Most of the missed vaccines are attributed to COVID-19.
Kara Pinero, a CVS MinuteClinic nurse practioner, says trends from 2020 are following through 2021.
“When we are discussing falling behind on vaccinations, it is a serious public health concern because that can result in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in our communities. For populations that either can't get the vaccine because they are too young, or they might have a legitimate health reason to not get it,” she said.
The routine vaccination schedule includes measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough and tetanus.
It’s crucial that your child get them at a specific time.
“It is important to make sure that they're up to date,” Pinero said. “The first would be when they're born. They get routine vaccinations from the first couple of weeks until 15 months; then, typically, we're going to boost through them again as they're going into kindergarten or daycare. We would booster them in middle school and then again, we booster them at for seventh grade with a Tdap vaccine and that not only is protecting your child from any communicable diseases, it's protecting everyone else in the community as well.”
Pinero also recommends the meningococcal and HPV vaccines – as well as the seasonal flu shot.
“We do recommend is a seasonal flu vaccine. This flu season, in particular, is unpredictable because we have had a lot of children at home for the next last year. Now they're returning to school, for the first time we loosen mass mandates and a lot of public places, so what's going to happen this flu season is a little bit more unpredictable,” she said.
Pinero says to speak with your pediatrician or stop by your local CVS MinuteClinic, where the physicians can review your child’s vaccine records.
The MinuteClinic also offers seasonal flu shots as well as any routine vaccinations.
To see the recommended immunization timing, click here.