KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted school and life in 2020, including well-visits for children. This has lead to many kids behind on their routine childhood immunizations, many of which are required for attending school.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the CDC reported fewer pediatric vaccines being administered. According to Dr. Heather Radu from the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, it’s important to get children vaccinated to help limit preventable illnesses, like Measles, Mumps, Rubella, hepatitis A & B, Rotavirus, DTap, and Influenza, from spreading in the community at the same time as COVID-19.

She says that it’s important to use all the tools available to protect our children and ourselves. Radu outlines four important reasons to vaccinate your child.

  • Immunizations can save your child’s life
  • Vaccination is very safe and effective
  • Immunization protects others you care about
  • It’s the law in Tennessee that any child attending child care, pre-school, school or college must get routine vaccinations.

For older children, Radu encourages parents to think about is the HPV vaccine. It is currently recommended for both boys and girls around 11 years of age to prevent different types of cancer. It is a 2 to 3 dose series depending on age at the time of first vaccination.

For parents who are concerned over the safety of vaccines, Radu encourages parents to turn to a reliable and trusted source. She says that this is often going to be their child’s pediatrician. According to Radu, those with a compromised immune system may not be able to receive a vaccine but that parents should always check with their child’s doctor.