Parenting through COVID-19 can feel like being in a bubble, but as well as social distancing, it’s important to protect and maintain our families’ health by keeping on top of standard checks including childhood immunisations.
Around the world, COVID-19 has hit hard and already 24 countries are unable to implement their immunisation programs, putting more than 117 million children at risk of preventable childhood diseases.
Close to home, measles immunisation programs have been delayed in Vietnam and the Philippines, and Polio is still a concern due to pockets of unimmunised children in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, and Timor Leste.
Similarly, Pakistan is seeing an increase in measles and diphtheria cases due to health services constrained by COVID-19.
Don’t Wait To Vaccinate!
In Australia we’ve worked hard to achieve immunisation rates that are high overall, however, there is a worrying trend of low rates of immunisation for children aged two years old.
Right now, more than ever, we need to ensure that level does not worsen, and we do not have secondary outbreaks of preventable childhood diseases, such as measles and whooping cough.
UNICEF Australia has been working in communities across the Asia Pacific region and around the world since 1966 to ensure the wellbeing of children. This includes critical health programs to help children survive and thrive, including immunisation programs.
It’s at times like the COVID-19 crisis that we see the long-term benefits of such programs, but we can’t let our guard down on immunisation because we’re fighting the COVID-19 battle. Good health and hygiene are our best defence, and everyone has a role to play.
Please, check in with your GP or check your child’s health records to make sure their immunisations are up to date, and spend a little time outside the bubble to ensure your child gets these very important immunisations.
We’re all in this together.