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Pediatricians urging Utahns to keep up on their childrens’ vaccines

Worries over the coronavirus are keeping people away from emergency rooms across the country.  Now, pediatricians are weighing in. (Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Worries over the new coronavirus are keeping people away from emergency rooms across the country.  Now, pediatricians are weighing in.

Fewer people are showing up for vaccines and developmental appointments, according to Dr. Jennifer Brinton, Fellow with American Association of Pediatrics — and that’s not good.

“Laying hands on a child can be very helpful detecting other problems that people might not be aware of,” Brinton said. “Listening to the child’s [heart rate and breathing] is very helpful as well.”

Doctors are still recommending children under two years of age continue their vaccines as scheduled along with those entering school.  But if an older child delays a vaccine for a couple months, they should still be safe.

Many of Brinton’s colleagues are changing how they conduct business in their offices to keep everyone healthy, she said.

“Coronavirus has been a terrible disease and I wish we didn’t have it,” Brinton said. “But with that terrible disease, comes incredible innovation.”

Many doctors are relying more heavily on telemedicine, but still recommend bringing children to office for developmental appointments if possible.

Some pediatricians will only see healthy children in the morning, sanitize the office during lunch, then only see sick kids in the afternoon.

“Others created  two different waiting rooms to separate healthy patients from the sick ones,” Brinton said.

Doctors are also encouraging everyone to call their local clinic to discuss if an in-person visit is needed, should be delayed or can be switched to a telehealth visit.