COVID-19 has reminded us of the hope that comes when a vaccine is made available to keep us safer from a disease. Previously, vaccines for serious diseases such as the measles, whooping cough, polio and chickenpox brought a similar hope.

Yet, across our state, we’re seeing a significant decline in children receiving these routine immunizations.

As a pediatrician, this is concerning for our community as childhood shots are one of the best ways parents can protect their children from diseases that can be serious and lead to hospitalization or even death.

As the community begins to resume normal life and activities, I want to encourage parents to also resume immunizations for their children and not to delay medical care. According to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, a 3 percent to 5 percent decrease in measles vaccinations can lead to significant measles outbreaks.

If your child needs to get caught up on their shots, contact your child’s primary care doctor to schedule an appointment.

Parents can also call the New Mexico vaccination hotline at 833-882-6454 or visit VaxViewNM.org to look up a vaccination history for their child and see what shots they are missing.

Together, we can keep the children in our community safe.

Dr. Alexandra Cvijanovich is a pediatrician with the Presbyterian Medical Group and president of the New Mexico Pediatric Society.

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