Maintaining Childhood Immunizations During COVID-19 Pandemic (CDC, 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and continues to affect communities across the United States differently. Some of the strategies used to slow the spread of disease in communities include postponing or canceling non-urgent elective procedures and using telemedicine instead of face-to-face encounters for routine medical visits.
Ensuring the delivery of newborn and well-child care, including childhood immunization, requires different strategies. Healthcare providers in communities affected by COVID-19 are using strategies to separate well visits from sick visits. Examples include:
- Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon
- Separating patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits.
- Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children.
Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some providers may not be able to provide well-child visits, including the provision of immunizations, for all patients in their practice. If a practice can provide only limited well-child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible. CDC is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide guidance.
Delivery of Adult Clinical Preventive Services, Including Immunizations (CDC, 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and is affecting communities across the United States in different ways. Despite changing circumstances, clinicians must continue to provide their patients with access to clinical services in environments that are safe for all. Some strategies used to slow the spread of disease in communities include postponing or cancelling non-urgent elective procedures and using telemedicine instead of face-to-face encounters for routine medical encounters. Delivery of some clinical preventive services, such as immunizations, requires face-to-face encounters. In areas with community transmission of COVID-19, these visits should be postponed except when:
- An in-person visit must be scheduled for some other purpose and the clinical preventive service can be delivered during that visit with no additional risk; or
- An individual patient and their clinician believe that there is a compelling need to receive the service based on an assessment that the potential benefit outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 Immunization Resources
- 2020 Immunization Schedules: The child and adolescent immunization schedule and the adult immunization schedule are now available for order on the CDC website.
- AAP’s COVID-19 Clinical Guidance Q&A web page.
- WHO’s Guiding principles for immunization activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CDC’s guidance on Maintaining Childhood Immunizations During COVID-19 Pandemic is available on Resources for Clinic’s and Healthcare Facilities.
- Vaccines when your child is sick.
- CDC’s guidance on Delivering Adult Clinical Preventive Services, Including Immunizations is available on Resources for Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Preparing Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.
- Vaccines when your child is sick.
- COVID-19 Guidance for Family Physicians on Preventive and Non-Urgent Care (AAFP)
- For COVID-19 immunization related questions only, contact Heidi Gurov, RN, Clinical Consultant at Wyoming Department of Health Immunization Unit by calling (307) 777-8981 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wyoming Department of Health’s COVID-19 web page.
- Wyoming’s public health nursing county offices.
- State of Wyoming’s COVID-19 resources and response efforts.
- Wyoming residents with general questions about COVID-19 may send an email to email@example.com.
- Non-medical information about COVID-19 is available by calling 2-1-1 or 888-425-7138.
- CDC’s COVID-19 web page.