ATLANTA — Remember how the world stopped when the pandemic hit? Any appointments or plans you had were canceled.
For many parents, that included their children’s doctor visits.
Now, doctors with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta say it’s time to catch up.
“We have a number of diseases that have been managed or almost eliminated thanks to vaccinations,” said CHOA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Fortenberry.
Some of those diseases include measles and whooping cough. Fortenberry told Channel 2′s Wendy Corona that’s why he doesn’t want your child to miss their visits. It’s valuable time with a doctor that goes beyond vaccinations.
“Following up (with) their developmental milestones, screening for depression and anxiety. We’ve all seen (that) that’s taken on even more importance during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fortenberry said.
The Lahiff twins, Ronan and Rylan, have their long-postponed well child visits coming up.
For their mother, Laura Lahiff, the delay was intentional due to COVID-19, and so was scheduling the first appointment of the day.
“We have that feeling of mental security that we’re getting in, we’re out, and we’re out of the way of any germs that we could be exposed to,” Laura Lahiff said.
Fortenberry estimates 80% to 90% of well child or teen visits were canceled at the start of the pandemic.
He told Corona that it’s time to catch up.
“Now is the time to take advantage before the fall hits, before we see things like flu and other respiratory viruses adding themselves to the mix,” Fortenberry said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 2.5 million vaccines were not given this year because of the pandemic, and parents need to get on that.
Last year, before COVID-19, Georgia saw the highest number of measles cases in 25 years.
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