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Healthwatch 16: Kids' vaccinations

Doctors say despite coronavirus concerns, it's important to keep up on your child's vaccinations.

COVID-19 is the topic of most health conversations these days, and for good reason, as many states see the number of cases rise.

But one kids' health expert is reminding parents not to let routine health visits and vaccinations lapse.

Coronavirus has changed the way we do almost everything.

It's even, in some cases, changed how often we see our doctors.

One pediatrician is working hard to get the message out: don't neglect your children's routine health.

"We are able to do physicals; we're doing everything safely at the office. We have increased safety measures like plastic barriers, social distancing, and wearing masks," said Dr. Karen Ephlin.

Dr. Karen Ephlin is a pediatrician with Geisinger Health System; she's based in Wilkes-Barre.

She says if you've fallen behind on your child's vaccination schedule, doctors are able to get them back on track, and now might be a good window in which to do that.

"The more people who get vaccines, the more people who won't be able to spread it. People who are immunocompromised or too young to get vaccines, we want to help them as well."

Dr. Ephlin says she hopes people remember two points.

One, how important it is to wear a mask, and to get your kids used to wearing masks too.

The second is to help out everyone you come in contact with by paying attention to your kids' immunizations.

"One would be MMR, measles mumps rubella, because chickenpox is commonly seen and spread in the community," said Ephlin.

And believe it or not, as we all wait for the development of a coronavirus vaccine, regular old flu season is around the corner.

Pediatricians are recommending that kids get a flu vaccine in the fall, as early as September or October.