With vaccinations for childhood diseases dropping due to concerns about visiting a clinic or doctor’s office during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Hollywood clinic will offer drive-up vaccines by appointment Wednesday.
The number of vaccines administered to children in California fell by more than 40% in April compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the state Department of Public Health. The same trend was reported across the country by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as stay-at-home orders were adopted earlier this year.
A Harris Poll conducted in late July found that 16% of parents nationwide said their children hadn’t received all of the vaccinations recommended by their pediatricians because COVID-19 made scheduling difficult or impossible. Pollsters said they believed the survey likely understated the actual decrease in vaccinations, because what people report often varies widely from what they actually do.
Childhood vaccines protect against serious illnesses such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough.
While many school campuses, including Los Angeles Unified School District schools, will be closed and classes will be virtual, vaccines are still required to register for the fall.
The Saban Community Clinic on Melrose Avenue will set up a drive-up clinic where even families without insurance can enroll and get their kids vaccinated safely. Giveaways — including a Chromebook with a wireless mouse — and live music will add to the family-friendly atmosphere.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and some physicians have expressed concern about the decreasing immunity.
“It’s a potential public health crisis,” Dr. Megan Tschudy, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told The Harris Poll. “It’s another layer of unintended consequences of COVID. There are so many levels. People are not taking care of routine things, too. It’s a concern many of us have.”
Even delaying the shots can be a problem.
“You want to keep kids on schedule. We made a schedule for a reason,” Tschudy said.
Families can schedule an appointment at the drive-up clinic by calling 323-653-1990 or online at www.sabancommunityclinic.org/back-to-school/.
Families will remain in their vehicle in the parking spots designated for their appointment, and medical staff or enrollment specialists will approach their vehicle to gather necessary information and administer vaccinations.
A special outdoor area will also be available, if needed.
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