Continue Vaccinating Patients During COVID-19 Pandemic

Health care providers, local public health jurisdictions, tribal health and many other health partners are working diligently in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During this time, 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 a COVID-19 pandemic but 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.

Health care providers may need to be innovative about ensuring continuity of immunizations, including:

  • screening for symptoms/travel prior to appointments
  • staggering appointments to reduce congestion in waiting rooms
  • cohorting ill patients at certain locations and continuing immunizations at other sites
  • working with local public health jurisdictions
  • using drive thru vaccination clinics and/or
  • utilizing drive thru COVID-19 testing sites, so immunizations may be administered at usual locations

If a practice 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.

If healthcare facilities close or decide to discontinue vaccination, please contact wachildhoodvaccines@doh.wa.gov or call (360) 236-2VAX.

Any other questions, please contact the DOH Office of Immunization and Child Profile at (360) 236-3595 or (800) 525-0127.

Anonymous