With our children back in the classroom, it is essential to ensure they are back on track and up-to-date with routine vaccinations and check-ups which protect them from preventable diseases. Thank you to the Aurora Beacon News for speaking with our President and CEO Linnea Windel and helping us shed light on this issue!
Call (630) 892-4355 or visit vnahealth.com to schedule an appointment for you or your child.
Read below for the full article by Linda Girardi.
With COVID-19 vaccine in the spotlight, health official worries about Aurora-area kids getting their routine vaccinations
“It’s rather concerning when we look at some of the national data,” VNA Health Care President and CEO Linnea Windel said about routine vaccinations for young people.
VNA Health Care is a federally qualified not-for-profit health care provider. It started in Aurora as the Visiting Nurses Association, and has grown into an organization with 70 full-time doctors and nurse practitioners at 14 clinics in seven locations throughout the west and southwest suburbs.
Windel referenced an analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that shows a “marked decline” in pediatric vaccines administered after the pandemic began in March 2020, which she said has placed children across the country at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases.
“We began talking to families last spring about making sure they know about the requirements,” Windel said.
Parents in Illinois are required to submit a Certificate of Child’s Health which includes a physical and complete immunization record for children entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, sixth, ninth and 12th grade. The certificate is also required for children coming into Illinois schools from out of state.
According to the CDC website, since the beginning of the pandemic most families have been doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with children often staying safe at home. However, the unfortunate result was that children have missed check-ups and recommended childhood vaccinations, health officials said.
Many families have recently been preoccupied about getting their children ready for the return of full in-person learning this fall, officials said, as well as getting their older children vaccinated against COVID-19. Children over age 12 are eligible to get the vaccine.
“There’s been a lot of work to try to get children back on track and up-to-date with (regular) vaccinations,” Windel said.
Oct. 15 is the deadline for required student vaccination and school physical documentation to be turned in, she said.
The lack of routine vaccinations not only puts young people at risk of getting easily preventable diseases, but also means they could be forced to miss school when they have only just returned to the classroom after a long year and a half of virtual learning, Windel said.
“Our concern is that families be up-to-date on routine vaccinations,” she said.
The VNA has been working closely with East Aurora School District 131 and West Aurora School District 129 to keep students healthy, officials with the group said.
“So many things for families have been out of their usual routine due to the pandemic. Those normal routines have been disrupted,” Windel said. “Getting back to the normal routines includes well-child checkups, physicals and immunizations. Those are very important - routine vaccinations do protect children from serious diseases.”
Now that children are back in school, it’s especially important that children be up-to-date on their school physicals and vaccines, she said.
For physicals and vaccines for children, families can visit the VNA Health Centers at 400 N. Highland Ave. and 1400 Indian Ave. in Aurora as well as a VNA Health Center at 801 Villa St. in Elgin.