The Royal Children’s Hospital is reminding parents to make sure their child’s immunisations are up to date, with new research showing one in five families have been putting them off during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, the hospital is launching a drive-through immunisation service.
The RCH National Child Health Poll found 20 per cent of children aged under five-years-old had their vaccinations delayed during the pandemic.
Keeping up-to-date with scheduled vaccinations is essential, even during the COVID-19 pandemic!To help make it easier…
Poll Director and paediatrician Dr Anthea Rhodes said mostly parents were fearful of their child or themselves catching COVID-19 at a clinic.
“What’s most important for us is reminding families that hospitals and clinics are safe places to attend, and that keeping up-to-date with vaccinations is essential, even during the pandemic. We urge all parents to make and keep medical appointments when needed.”
The RCH Immunisation Service has also seen a decrease in presentations with almost two-thirds of families delaying or cancelling their appointment during the pandemic.
Nurse practitioner and Manager of the RCH Immunisation Service, Sonja Elia, said it was vital to keep up to date.
“What’s concerning is that it seems people are thinking that vaccinations are not important at the moment because we’re not going out. But once restrictions are lifted, we’re going to see a re-emergence of other viruses such as measles and chicken pox,” Sonja said.
“With many vaccinations offered through programs at school, and with the learning year disrupted, children are missing out on essential and repeat doses.
“The more options we have for families to access routine childhood vaccinations the better, and a service like the drive-through will help to reassure families and address any anxieties.”
The RCH drive-through immunisation clinic is open for bookings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9am-1pm.
The service is available to all members of the public and for all vaccinations.
Bookings are essential before attending the clinic.
To make a booking, please click through to the booking form.