Mary Bridge Children’s Urges Families to Stay Current on Immunizations
CDC Reports Drop-Off in Children’s Vaccinations During Pandemic, Parents Are Encouraged to Not Wait, Book Appointments Now
TACOMA – May 21, 2020 - If you or your children are due for immunizations, please don’t put them off. That’s the message from Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Network as it aims to re-assure parents who may be delaying visits to the doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Immunizations are the best defense against preventing many communicable diseases that can cause severe illness and death,” said Dr. Roselynn Cuenca-Hodge, a pediatrician with Mary Bridge Children’s Evergreen Pediatrics. “While there’s currently no vaccine for COVID-19, we cannot forget about those illnesses that we do have protection against.”
Since late March, when President Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported a significant drop-off in routine pediatric vaccine ordering — indicating that U.S. children and their communities may face increased risks for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Locally, Mary Bridge Children’s Mobile Immunization Clinics have seen a significantly lower volume of children coming in for vaccinations with one clinic seeing nearly 80 percent fewer patients in April than in March.
Mary Bridge Children’s is currently seeing children between the ages of 0-4; children ages 11 and 16 who have required vaccinations due, as well as any children who are overdue for their annual health supervision visit or behind on vaccines.
Following are some of the vaccines that are especially recommended:
- MMR Vaccine to defend against measles, mumps and rubella.
- DTaP/Tdap Vaccine to prevent whooping cough.
- Varicella Vaccine to prevent chickenpox.
- Rotavirus Oral Vaccine to prevent severe diarrhea among young children.
- Meningococcal Vaccine to prevent meningitis among patients attending colleges that require it.
Parents whose children need vaccines should contact their child’s primary health care provider to schedule an appointment. If families are unable to see their own provider, or don’t have one, they can also call the Mary Bridge Children’s Mobile Immunization Clinic in Tacoma at 253-403-1767 to make an appointment. The clinic is open weekdays and provides free vaccines recommended by the CDC to children 18 years of age and younger.
About Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Network
Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Network operates a pediatric hospital in Tacoma along with outpatient centers and clinics in communities across the South Sound. Founded in 1955, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in southwest Washington dedicated to caring for children. Designated by the state as the Level II Pediatric Trauma Center for Western Washington, Mary Bridge Children’s offers comprehensive resources and expertise for critically ill or injured children. From pediatric surgery to cancer care, orthopedics to rehabilitation and therapy services, Mary Bridge Children’s specializes in advanced care for children along with a primary care network throughout the region. Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Network is a part of MultiCare Health System, a community focused, not-for-profit health system based in Tacoma, Wash.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dan Branley, 206-914-1231
About The Author
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 18,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author