Back to Top Skip to main content

CDC maintains childhood immunization guidelines during COVID-19

A child receives a vaccine during a visit to the clinic. U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Tamika Bradley, 20th Medical Operations Squadron allergy and immunizations technician, prepares to administer a vaccine to a child at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. National Infant Immunization Week is April 25 - May 2, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destinee Dougherty)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Immunizations remain a vital component of pediatric health care, even during the COVID19 pandemic. Immune systems are still developing in children and infants. Vaccinations result in the production of antibodies to protect people from potentially deadly diseases, explained Ann M. Morse, a family nurse practitioner at the North-Atlantic Regional Vaccine Safety Hub, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

“Immunizations allow the immune system to recognize that germ, virus, or bacteria and fight off that disease, or limit the severity of complications if exposed to the real disease,” continued Morse.

Immunizations also protect public health through herd immunity by preventing a widespread outbreak of highly infectious diseases, like measles or whooping cough. Despite the current climate of social distancing, vaccine-preventable diseases continue to circulate. Individuals who have not been vaccinated and contract the disease could spread it to susceptible individuals because those infected can be contagious up to a week before developing any symptoms, explained Morse. She added that if children stop receiving necessary vaccinations, herd immunity decreases, increasing the likelihood of other potential viral outbreaks, like measles.

“If multiple individuals developed one or more different vaccine-preventable diseases, hospitals could again have decreased number of isolation rooms, critical care (ICU/CCU) beds, ventilators, protective coverings (masks, gowns, gloves, boots) and more,” Morse explained. She added there are a variety of infant or childhood respiratory illnesses that show similar symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, and body aches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to encourage childhood immunizations during the COVID-19 crisis, but recently updated its recommendations for health care providers to manage patient visits. The way health care providers schedule immunization appointments may vary according to social distancing standards, said Morse. It is also possible that depending on the influx of COVID-19 cases in a local community, some health care providers may not schedule in-person wellness visits, but will continue to offer immunizations, noted Air Force preventive medicine physician Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ruth Brenner, deputy chief of the Immunization Healthcare Division.

“Due to the pandemic, there is a strain on medical resources, so some clinics may not be able to support a full complement of immunization services or at the same location where immunizations may normally be received. I recommend contacting your primary care manager or clinic to ask what is available as well as community options,” Brenner said.

As a mother of young children, Brenner has had to navigate the medical system for important immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of the Pediatric Clinic at her military treatment facility. For parents who choose not to immunize their children during the pandemic, there are "catch up" schedules provided by the CDC so that children don’t need to start over or repeat doses already received, explained Brenner. Many child care centers are allowing a grace period for childhood immunizations at this time, she noted.

“Each family should balance the risks and benefits before going to the clinic,” she said, adding that MTFs are adhering to CDC recommendations of social distancing and separating sick children from well children.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the strain on health care systems is obvious, said Brenner, adding, “Pediatric immunizations remain an important aspect of the health of our children and our communities. Military treatment facilities are working hard to continue to offer pediatric immunizations during the current health crisis.”

Morse said military families should call their clinics to arrange times for their visit and ask about precautions they will need to follow upon entering the facility, such as wearing a face mask. “It will be important to ask about normal vaccine side effects and take home the vaccine information sheets,” she said.

Concerned parents can also call the IHD’s 24/7 Immunization Healthcare Support Center at 877-438-8222 and select option 1 to speak with an on-call nurse or provider.

You also may be interested in...

DOD Announces Use of Masks, Other Public Health Measures

Article
2/9/2021
Woman wearing a mask

Department of Defense updates the use of masks requirements to align to the most current CDC guidelines.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Toolkit

Military, medical leaders discuss COVID-19 issues with Service Members

Article
2/8/2021
Mr. and Mrs. Milley, wearing masks, standing in front of various flags.

Fauci said it is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine, and it will "absolutely not" enter into a person's DNA.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA-PI 6205.01: Medical Logistics Guidance for the DoD Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (n), establishes the Defense Health Agency's (DHA's) procedures for ordering, receiving, and managing COVID-19 Vaccines inventory and ancillary kits.

DOD COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues, eye on long-term readiness

Article
2/4/2021
Soldier getting a vaccine in his left arm

The impact of the COVID-19 vaccines on military readiness is unknown, but members are encouraged to get the shots as soon as they become available.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Eliminating the pandemic - one shot at a time

Article
2/3/2021
Tom Danaher was one of approximately several hundred 75 years and older beneficiaries who were administered their initial dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

NHB / NMRTC Bremerton moves forward with the phased approach of the COVID-19 vaccines

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Blood donations remain vital for Service Member care

Article
2/3/2021
Man walking with assistance at a PT clinic

Putting a human face on the act of giving blood could help drive blood donations. And first-tme donors often become sustaining donors.

Recommended Content:

Holiday Observances | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Innovative mobile technologies impact DOD health surveillance

Article
2/2/2021
Medical personnel using a syringe to inject a fluid into a test tube

Early detection of infectious diseases in the field to protect the troops.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Technology

DOD experts explain: The science behind the COVID-19 vaccines

Article
2/1/2021
Medical personnel in PPE, conducting lab tests

Six weeks after the first vaccines were approved for emergency use authorization in the U.S., there is much more to know about the vaccine products developed against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 presents challenges to heart health, physical fitness

Article
2/1/2021
Four military personnel, wearing masks, running on a track

Because of COVID-19 shutdowns, the overall health of both military personnel and beneficiaries has taken a hit over the last year.

Recommended Content:

February Toolkit | Healthy Heart and Total Force Fitness | Preventing Heart Disease | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Heart Health

SAMHS starts next phase of vaccine rollout, expands to 75 and older

Article
1/28/2021
Medical personnel giving a vaccine to a soldier in her right arm

Vaccinations for eligible 1b military personnel will be coordinated by their military units.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Is It Your Time to Get the Vaccine?

DHA director visits San Antonio military units, JBSA vaccination sites

Article
1/26/2021
Three military personnel, wearing masks, talking with each other in a hospital hallway

Army Lt. Gen Ronald Place, DHA director, recently visited JBSA vaccination sites and several other military locations in the greater San Antonio region.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD vaccinating personnel worldwide against COVID-19

Article
1/26/2021
Two soldiers, wearing masks: one is getting a vaccine in his left arm

One-month update of COVID-19 distribution and administration efforts to DOD personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Flu Vaccination Trends Among Military Beneficiaries (December 2020)

Report
1/26/2021

This issue brief explores time trends for flu vaccination rates among military health care beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries | Immunization Healthcare | Immunization Tool Kit

MHS Transformation results continue during COVID-19

Article
1/21/2021
Military personnel in a supply room, reaching for the top shelf

The MTF transition has enabled the DHA and the Services to increase standardization, eliminate duplicative contracts, and realize cost efficiencies by beginning the management of an enterprise-wide program.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

DOD recommends adults 75 and older should seek COVID-19 vaccine

Article
1/19/2021
Nursing home members, wearing masks, wait in a line to get their COVID vaccine

This age recommendation differs slightly from that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends vaccinations for those 65 and older.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Is It Your Time to Get the Vaccine? | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults Age 75 and Older
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 33

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.