As a pediatrician, I am well aware of the fear parents have of sitting in a packed waiting room exposing their children to the general public during this pandemic. While children are at risk for COVID-19, most of them will fare well and usually have milder symptoms than adults. Unfortunately, fear caused by the pandemic has led to thousands of school-age kids not getting their annual well-child visits and required routine vaccinations.

We all know about installing childproof locks, protective gates and car seats, but we really need to include getting our children their routine vaccinations as one of our top priorities to keep them safe. Because of these routine vaccinations, children can now be protected against feared diseases such as polio and smallpox, diseases that once killed thousands of children.

Unfortunately, today, vaccine-preventable illnesses are showing up in our communities posing more of a threat directly to children than COVID-19. If children are not given their routine vaccinations, they remain at high risk for developing these clearly preventable diseases such as tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, haemophilus influenzae and measles. In the past, these diseases would kill thousands of children a year globally before their 5th birthdays. Because of safe, effective vaccines, they can now be prevented.

Vaccinations not only protect your child, but they also keep others around them because it stops the spread of diseases. The experts overwhelmingly believe that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the possible rare side effects for almost all children. You should always feel free to discuss any and all concerns you might have with your pediatrician.

It is also extremely important that you continue to bring your child for routine checkups. During these routine visits, we monitor your child’s health, progress and development and should anything begin to develop, we can address it in a timely manner and appropriate interventions can be taken. That’s yet another safety net for your children.

We understand parents’ concerns but as a pediatrician, I cannot stress enough that bringing your children to their doctors is critical. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has always supported and continues to support the need for preventative care and routine vaccinations for our children. For existing patients, there are times when virtual visits are also available for minor issues and routine follow-ups (not for new patients or physicals), but there is nothing better than an in-person visit for your child with a pediatrician – someone trained specifically to treat them.

At Addabbo, safety measures such as air purification systems, fiberglass barriers, dividers, PPE, temperature checks, masks and social distancing are always in place to protect both you and your children so you can feel safe visiting with your child’s pediatrician at any of our five (5) locations in Queens and Red Hook, Brooklyn. Our experienced, multicultural and multilingual, board-certified Pediatricians as well as Family Practitioners are readily available to see and care for your children from birth to early adulthood.

If you are not already part of our family, please consider becoming part of our Patient-Centered Medical Home – a nationally recognized title that the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has proudly held for many years.

Please make sure your children continue coming to their regular well-child’s visits, getting routine vaccinations and being monitored as they develop. Your children’s well-being and safety are always our utmost priority.

Luis Velasquez, M.D., Director of Pediatrics
Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center
A Nationally Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home
“We Provide Big Care for Our Little Patients”

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