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Doctors see 'large decrease' in vaccinations during coronavirus pandemic

Pediatricians are encouraging parents that it is safe to bring your child into the doctor's office. "If vaccination rates, for example, the measles virus, drop below just 95% in the general population, outbreaks can happen."

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Pediatricians are encouraging parents that it is safe to bring your child to the doctor's office.

Dr. Anthony Hudson, who works at a facility in the nonprofit Louisiana-based LCMC Health hospital system, told sister station WDSU that the health care system saw a decrease in patients coming in for immunizations in March and April.

"We noted a large decrease in the number of vaccinations that our children were receiving, and we are aware that if vaccination rates, for example, the measles virus, drop below just 95% in the general population, outbreaks can happen," Hudson said.

He said doctor's offices are some of the safest places to visit during the coronavirus pandemic.

"They (parents) are calling quite frequently with that as their primary question," said Hudson. "I can only emphasize that we're taking all the necessary precautions, and we're still open and here to care for your child."

Those precautions include adjusting the clinic's hours of operation. Well visits are being scheduled in the morning from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., while sick visits are scheduled in the afternoon. Hudson said, additionally, any child with a fever is kept in the "sick room," which is separated from the main lobby by a closed door.

"We're taking specific measures to try to limit people's contact with sick individuals," Hudson said.

Patients and their parents are also asked to wear masks while waiting to see their doctor, who also wear protective gear during the appointment.

There are similar measures in place at Children's Hospital in New Orleans, where patients are also required to wear masks and temperature checks are performed upon arrival.

Hudson encouraged anyone with concerns to contact their doctor's office directly.