Pediatricians: Now Is The Time For Wellness Visits, Vaccinations - Even If Child Is Doing Remote Learning

By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Pediatricians said now is time to get those wellness checks and required school shots – even for those who won’t be in a classroom.

The Illinois Department of Public Health requires a number of vaccines for children in preschool and K-through-12.  They include vaccines for polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Dr. Michelle Barnes, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, sees patients at UI Health and said vaccinations are important even if a student is not going to be in the classroom.

"They are important, because they do a lot to help prevent diseases...We now have vaccines for up to 16 different diseases that children can get. Even though they may be staying home from school now, they may be going out to the store, the park, and we certainly hope they are getting outside a little bit to get some fresh air that we have going on right now at this time of the year," she said.

Asked about some parents who are concerned about vaccines Dr. Barnes said vaccines are very well studied and safety is the number one priority they have as physicians.

"There have been many studies of hundreds of thousands of patients all over the world, for many if not all of the vaccines that we have and it is really important that parents understand that safety is the number one priority we have as physicians and we would not recommend vaccines if we did not feel they were the safest prevention for children," she said.Dr. Barnes said if you put off your child’s wellness check while “sheltering in place” now is the time to get it done because they offer many services in addition to vaccinations, including oral screenings and lab tests to screen for anemia and elevated lead levels.