Let’s face it — even before the pandemic began, no one looked forward to going to the doctor to get a shot. While you may be avoiding the doctor because of COVID-19, it’s now more important than ever to get the vaccinations that keep you and your child safe from potentially deadly, yet totally preventable, illnesses.
“Immunizations help ensure the circulation of viruses is low in the population and protect the community,” said Susan Carlin, MD, a MetroHealth pediatrician. “The reason we no longer see some infectious illnesses is because the majority of children receive immunizations in a timely fashion.” When immunization rates in the community fall, outbreaks of diseases like whooping cough and measles will occur.
Keeping Kiddos Safe
Disease outbreaks happen when children don’t receive the proper vaccinations. Measles, for example, is highly contagious, and babies who are not yet old enough to be vaccinated and others with weakened immune systems are at risk of contracting the disease. Complications of measles include encephalitis (brain infection), pneumonia and deafness.
Here are the vaccines that every child should get:
- whooping cough
- varicella (chickenpox)
- hepatitis A and B
- flu (influenza)
- H. flu Type B
Adults Need Vaccines, Too
Adults also need to receive their vaccinations in a timely manner, according to Jared Bradshaw, DO, an internal medicine specialist who sees children and adults. “You don’t want to swap the risk of getting COVID-19 with the risk of getting another serious illness,” he said.
Immunizations for adults protect against:
- flu (influenza)
Adults also need booster shots for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.
MetroHealth Helps You Get Your Shot Safely
MetroHealth is also offering patients solutions for vaccines other than going to the doctor’s office. We’ve established a drive-up vaccine clinic at our Middleburg Heights location. To schedule a drive-up vaccine appointment, call 216-957-9700. You can also walk in at any MetroHealth pharmacy location for a variety of vaccines for adults and children. For more details, visit metrohealth.org/get-vaccinated.
MetroHealth is taking precautions to keep your risk of COVID-19 exposure low. Physicians have made changes to schedules so patients and their children can socially distance in waiting rooms. Exam rooms also receive more frequent cleanings during the day. Before patients enter a MetroHealth building, they have their temperature taken and receive a respiratory symptom check to help screen for COVID-19. Patients, doctors and staff must all wear masks.
For more information, including how to find a complete list of required vaccinations by age and where to get them, visit metrohealth.org/get-vaccinated.
Susan Carlin, MD
Kevin M. El-Hayek, MD
Jared Bradshaw, DO
Internal Medicine – Pediatrics Physician