COVID-19 and Immunizations
We know that the current situation with COVID-19 is unnerving, and that each day brings new realities and challenges. WithinReach remains committed to the health of families in Washington State, and as your partner, is working to ensure you get access to the resources you need. Please reach out to us if we can assist you in applying for health insurance, SNAP, ORCA LIFT, or to learn more about WIC benefits, early childhood development services, or where to find an immunization clinic.
You can reach us by calling our Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 – if you have to leave a message, we’ll call you back as soon as possible. Or, you can contact us through the online form on our website, ParentHelp123.org.
We would like to share these resources for parents and healthcare providers on vaccinating during COVID-19.
Parents – Please always check with your child’s healthcare provider for the latest recommendations! This information is constantly changing and we will do our best to keep it up to date.
For Parents & Caregivers
Should I take my child in for vaccines during COVID-19?
Public health is a team effort. While healthcare workers are working diligently in order for us to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, you can help, too. Vaccinating young children (especially babies birth to 24 months) on time is the best way to protect them from vaccine preventable diseases.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recommends that routine vaccination should continue. This ensures that our communities remain free of vaccine preventable diseases and that individuals are as healthy as possible. If routine vaccination is postponed, we could be faced not only with the COVID-19 pandemic but also an outbreak of vaccine preventable diseases, like measles. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has provided additional guidance on immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If a healthcare clinic 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and DOH are monitoring the situation and may provide additional guidance in the future.
Some healthcare providers may not be able to provide well-child visits for all patients in their clinic or may be able to conduct visits by telephone or video. The best thing to do is call your doctor’s office before you go to find out what precautions they are taking to keep children safe. Together, you can make the best decision for your child.
Additional resources for families:
- Harvard Health Blog, “Is it safe to see the pediatrician for vaccines and medical visits?”
- What to Expect, “Well-Baby Visits During the Coronavirus Outbreak: Is It Still Safe to Go?”
- Washington State Department of Health, “Answering your COVID-19 Questions”
- Vaccines When Your Child is Sick
- COVID-19, Kids, and Vaccination
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Parenting Website
Immunizations during COVID-19 Flyers
These flyers provide important information on how families can stay healthy, stay safe and stay vaccinated during COVID-19. These flyers come in several languages and can be downloaded below as PDFs:
The Washington Department of Health encourages healthcare providers to continue vaccinating patients, especially infants and older adults, who are at highest risk of getting vaccine-preventable diseases. Reducing access to immunizations increases our risk of disease outbreaks.
Things for healthcare providers to consider:
- Risks to patients around possible exposure to COVID-19 when they come in for vaccinations and well-child visits
- Strategies in clinic operations to mitigate these risks
- Local level of COVID-19 illnesses and how many sick patients come to your clinic
To learn more about ways to safely give vaccines while protecting patients and staff, visit the Washington State Department of Health Resource Guide. If healthcare facilities do close or decide to discontinue vaccination, please contact the vaccine management team at email@example.com or call (360) 236-2VAX.
Additional resources for providers:
- What Healthcare Personnel Should Know about Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection
- American Academy of Pediatrics COVID-19 Clinical Guidance Q&A
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Healthcare Settings
- Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics COVID-19 Page
- CDC Information for Pediatric Providers