June 16, 2020

From Community Health Partners, Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center, Orange City Area Health System, and Sioux Center Health


Sioux County Public Health and area health systems stress importance of childhood vaccines during coronavirus pandemic
Missing vaccinations can have devastating effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared vaccines one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century, second only to clean water. The widespread use of vaccines protects all Iowans from once common and serious infectious diseases like tetanus, measles, mumps, and polio.

Unfortunately, childhood immunizations/vaccinations have significantly decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend seen in Sioux County as well as nationwide. Delays in immunizations may result in secondary outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“The need to prevent serious childhood diseases like measles and whooping cough doesn’t disappear during the coronavirus public health emergency,” stated Kim Westerholm, Director of Community Health Services for Sioux County’s Community Health Partners (CHP),

Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential to ensure children are protected against diseases.  Missing vaccinations can have devastating effects not only for the child but for others as well.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) strongly support continued healthcare for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AAP recommends that all well-child care should occur in person whenever possible and within the child’s medical home for continuity of care.

Each of the health systems in Sioux County – Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center, Orange City Area Health System, and Sioux Center Health – have protocols in place to safely care for both well and sick patients of all ages. They encourage the families they serve to schedule immunizations and other essential health services with their providers.

“Local medical clinics are ready to continue to provide safe and integrated care for your family and children,” commented Westerholm. “It’s important to reschedule missed well child visits and other important healthcare screenings and get your immunizations up to date.”