Miss. students must be up-to-date on vaccines even if taking online classes, doctor says

Miss. students need to be up-to-date on vaccines even if taking online classes, doctor says

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Coronavirus concerns have kept some Mississippi parents and their children from visiting their family physician.

It’s the opposite of what pediatrician John Gaudet with the American Academy of Pediatrics wants his patients to do.

“Obviously checking a baby for jaundice or weight loss or gain, it’s very hard to do that over telehealth. Just because a child is older and doing okay, that doesn’t mean that we can or should ignore their concerns and ignore their checkups or their immunizations,” said Dr. Gaudet.

Immunizations are important to keep on schedule, according to Dr. Gaudet. Most children will head back to school in the coming weeks. Even if classes continue in a virtual model, students must be vaccinated.

“Mississippi Department of Education will still require your child to be up-to-date on vaccines in order to enroll for school,” said Dr. Gaudet. “What could be worse than to have an outbreak of a vaccine preventable illness in the middle of a pandemic of an illness that has no vaccine?”

Physical checkups are mainly required for kids who participate in school sports. Gaudet recommends bringing all kids in for a back-to-school check up regardless.

“You can impact the health of the child when they’re young and that can make a difference for the rest of their lives. This is not something that is a trifling matter. It really effects that child for many years to come and should not be ignored,” said Gaudet.

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