May 1, 2020
By Jordan Cryderman
This week is National Immunization Awareness Week. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has the country on lockdown, immunizations are an essential service and are critical to our health, especially for children.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly halted many public services that we rely on. Many clinics have closed, and doctors and nurses are using virtual sessions to see their patients.
Despite the disruptions, immunization programs have not stopped. It is critical that children continue to receive their vaccine shots. If immunization services are stopped, we could see a dramatic increase in diseases that are normally controlled with vaccines, such as measles. Without immunization, outbreaks of these diseases could have a dramatic effect on not just families, but whole communities.
You might be asking “how do I get my kid in for immunizations if clinics are closed?” While CSFS clinics are closed, our nurses and doctors continue to work.
Since local health centers are closed for visits, nurses are conducting home visits to provide immunizations for children. If your family nurse hasn’t already contacted you to set up an appointment, you can contact them as well. If you don’t already have their phone number, feel free to call your local health centre for more information.
You can also contact CSFS Nurse Manager, Judith Sandford, at 250-562-3591.
Some parents might be worried about spreading COVID-19 with immunization appointments. However, CSFS nurses are taking every precaution to ensure that everybody is safe.
Here are a few key guidelines to help you, and the nurses, in preventing the spread of COVID-19:
- The nurse will conduct a screening over the phone prior to the visit to ensure the safety of families.
- Inform the nurse if you or your child are feeling ill, or have any of the following symptoms:
o Runny nose
o Sore throat
o Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
o Diarrhea or vomiting
- The nurse will wear PPE (personal protective equipment) to minimize any risk of spreading germs. This includes a face mask and medical gloves.
- If you have been in contact or near someone with COVID-19, stay home and self-isolate and call 8-1-1
Immunizations are critical, especially during these times. While it is important to be wary of COVID-19, rest assured that CSFS is taking every precaution when conducting home visits for the immunization program.
Remember, if you haven’t already been contacted by your nurse, be sure to call your local health centre, or Judith Sandford at 250-562-3591.
Last modified: Friday 12-Jun-20 15:43:45 PDT