Parents waiting on wellness checks, vaccinations for kids because of coronavirus fears

Concerns over exposure to COVID-19 are creating a backlog in families postponing routine wellness visits and vaccinations for their children.

In Minnesota, health experts say they've seen a drop in immunization rates during the pandemic. That has health professionals concerned about the potential fallout from skipping out on important immunization schedules.

"In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to our patients and providers we've reduced the number of well exams that we are doing now."

The New York Times reports that Minnesota has seen a 71-percent decrease in doses given out for the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine at the end of March.

"We are starting to see a drop in our preventative and vaccination rates, and there is always the fear that as the vaccination rates drop, we could start to see those vaccine-preventable deaths again," said Dr. Valerie Jarstad at M Health Fairview.

Dr. Jarstad urges parents to keep bringing in their children under the age of 2 for well checks and immunizations.

However, M Health Fairview and their partners have created a new way to keep older children healthy like curbside check-ups. They are a way to social distance but also still keep up with preventative services. Dr. Jarstad has even taken her twins.

"I actually had the pleasure of taking my 12-year-old twins to get their second HPV vaccines and it was a great experience," she said.

Health experts say don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor if you feel like your child needs to be seen. Technology also allows ways to communicate to make an informed decision about your child's health.

"We are able to offer virtual services like telephone visits, video visits and, when necessary, we still offer face-to-face visits," she added. "You can still contact us through phone or electronic like MyChart."