Winter is Coming: Is Your Child's Health Protected?
Friday, September 30, 2022
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed the childhood vaccination rate dropped during the pandemic.
Starting in June, the Hispanic Access Foundation partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bring COVID-19 vaccine clinics to Latino churches in three Texas communities.
Aurie Garcia, secretary of Hope of Life Church of God in Houston, said COVID is still top of mind for many people, but children need protection from a variety of potential illnesses.
"And it's very important to protect the children," Garcia stressed. "Because they go out, they go back to school, so it's very important for them to have the COVID vaccine and the other vaccines."
If you have not kept track of immunization records, they're available from state-run immunization information systems.
A study published in the journal Vaccine found from 2019 to 2020, immunization rates fell 47% among five-month-olds and 58 % among 16-month-olds.
Garcia noted some Hispanic people avoid doctors because they're worried materials won't be available in Spanish and a translator will not be on site. She added it is a way the Hispanic Access Foundation can help.
"We explain to them that we partner with the Health Department in Houston," Garcia remarked. "I am bilingual, I speak Spanish; that's my primary language, and Harris County Department, they also have some of their people that speak Spanish."
Health care providers say many families skipped doctor's visits during the pandemic to avoid exposure to the COVID virus. Other parents do not immunize children for religious reasons, and still others are worried about potential health problems associated with some vaccines, although the risks are reported to be extremely small.
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