Parents urged to keep up immunizations during pandemic

August Goepferd, 15 months, received the MMR booster.
Fifteen-month-old August Goepferd received the measles, mumps and rubella booster shot at a clinic at Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis in May 2017. August sat on the lap of his mom, Dr. Angela Geopferd, as registered nurse Kim Flaata administered the shot.
Amy Forliti | AP Photo 2017

The Minnesota Department of Health is advising parents to continue their children’s vaccine schedules, even though wellness visits have been discouraged during the pandemic.

“We never told parents to not bring in their children who are 2 and under for their immunizations because we knew for a fact how important it would be to continue with these vaccine series,” said Dr. Jon Hallberg, medical director of the University of Minnesota Physicians Mill City Clinic. “I think when parents are hearing, ‘Don't come in for a wellness visit,’ that got translated into — not bringing in your infants, as well.”

Hallberg said these visits are urgent, especially for measles and pertussis immunizations. And he said parents shouldn’t worry too much about the risk of COVID-19 exposure during them; most doctors’ offices aren’t seeing many patients in person right now and they’re taking extra precautions like seeing well and sick children during different day parts or setting up drive-through immunization clinics, for example.

“I think if people are going grocery shopping or going outside, there's probably a slightly greater risk of contracting an illness through that than coming to a clinic these days,” Hallberg said.

You can hear his full conversation with MPR News host Tom Crann by clicking play on the audio player above.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.