Don't delay routine vaccination during Covid 19 Pandemic: CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released interim guidance which is intended to assist immunization providers in a variety of clinical and alternative settings for the safe administration of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Routine vaccination should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic as it is an essential preventive care service for all ages. To make sure immunization services are re initiated and that the burden of respiratory illness during the upcoming influenza is reduced,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come up with guidelines on how to plan vaccination schedules during this Pandemic era.
The main purpose of this interim guidelines is to assist the Health care providers and immunization providers in a variety of settings for the safe administration of vaccines. Giving routine vaccinations prevents illnesses leading to unnecessary medical visits or hospitalizations which further burden the health care system. Timely vaccinations are of paramount importance to avoid the respiratory illnesses in the upcoming flu season during this pandemic.
Routine vaccination is an essential preventive care service for children, adolescents, and adults (including pregnant women) that should not be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of COVID-19-related reductions in people accessing vaccination services, it is important to assess the vaccination status of all patients at each visit to avoid missed opportunities for vaccination and ensure timely vaccine catch-up. All vaccines due or overdue should be administered according to the recommended schedule
CDC has proposed that as a preventive care for all ages including pregnant women, providing routine vaccinations is necessary. Knowing the vaccinations status and the missed vaccination schedules is important for the well being of individuals and to schedule the visits for timely vaccination catch ups.
The new guidelines have emphasized that starting with infants, children, adolescents who have missed well child visits and vaccination schedules, in person appointments should be given after contacting parents. Delayed maternal vaccines should also be scheduled. Health care providers should monitor if their patients are taking the vaccinations on time. Annual influenza vaccine should also be given to prevent influenza related deaths. Health care workers, essential workers, persons at increased risk, and persons at high risk should use every opportunity to take the influenza vaccine.
They have given certain guidelines for the safe delivery of vaccines:
• Minimize the chance of exposure by proper screening of symptoms, limiting and monitoring the entry points, implementing cloth face covering, hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
• Ensure that all staff adhere to the infection control and prevention protocols.
• Follow standard precautions of hand hygiene and environment cleaning procedures.
• Wear medical face masks and eye protection gear.
• Wear gloves while administering intranasal and oral vaccines. Change them in between patients.
• Ensure physical distancing by separating sick and well patients, scheduling patients at different times, reducing crowding in waiting areas and using electronic communications as much as possible.
They have also issued guidelines on how to give vaccinations at alternate sites like pharmacies, satellite clinics, off site areas by providing specific appointment times, limiting overall attendees, and maintaining a minimum safe distance of 6 feet.
CDC has also issued guidelines that vaccination of suspected or confirmed persons of COVID 19 should be deferred until criteria have been met for discontinuing isolation.
To read more about the guidelines, click the following URL: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pandemic-guidance/index.html?deliveryName=USCDC_7_3-DM31737