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Missouri pediatricians and state health department encourage well-child visits and vaccinations

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported a decline in the vaccination rates among children across Missouri since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Health department officials are encouraging parents to take their children for well-child visits and recommend getting kids vaccinated.

Alexandra James, a pediatrician from MU, said its more important during a pandemic to get vaccinated for other diseases.

"I would say even more so in times of COVID-19 it is really important for children to get fully vaccinated," she said. "Measles, chicken pox, tetanus, these diseases are devastating to children in population and thats why they had vaccines created for them."

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, state health officials have seen a decrease in vaccines given to children.

The release said there was a 50% decrease in vaccines given to children under the age of 18 in April 2020 compared to the same time last year.

Well-child visits play an important role in making sure children are healthy and protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, according to a news release from the state health department.

“Routine visits with your child’s pediatrician or primary care provider are essential to keeping your child healthy during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kristin Sohl said in the press release.

To keep children safe during well-child visits, health care professionals have implemented safety precautions for Missouri families.

Some offices plan to bring patients directly from their cars to a room, the release said. According to the release, facilities may separate sick and well-child visits.

This is a developing story, watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 p.m. for the latest coverage.

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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.

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