April 26, 2021

UW Health encourages routine infant and childhood vaccinations

Madison, Wis. – It is National Infant Immunization Week and UW Health pediatricians want to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of routine childhood vaccinations for kids under the age of 2.

Providers believe it is particularly important this year that parents and families stay up to date with checkups and vaccinations, as more children are returning to in-person learning, daycare and other activities.

It is important to ensure your child has these vaccinations because data shows many families skipped or postponed vaccinations in 2020. In May 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing a concerning drop in routine childhood vaccination as a result of safer at home orders.

"The decrease in childhood vaccinations we saw last year is troubling," said Dr. Jim Conway, UW health infectious disease pediatrician and medical director of UW Health's immunization program. "As people gather more and travel more, unvaccinated children are at risk of being exposed to more than just COVID-19, and without vaccines they are at risk of contracting dangerous but preventable diseases."

These vaccines provide immense protection to our youngest family members, immunizing them against countless serious diseases that once devastated US children routinely, according to Dr. Conway, including tetanus, whooping cough, meningitis, measles and polio. Plus, health systems like UW Health have long been able to safely care for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients on-site, and these vaccinations are readily available at hospitals, clinics and local pharmacies.

Vaccines save lives. UW Health experts encourage parents to schedule routine childhood vaccinations for any child under the age of 2, and they also encourage anyone over the age of 16 to get the COVID-19 vaccine to best protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.