Provider Guidance for Immunizations During Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect communities in Arizona and across the United States. Maintaining immunizations during this period may not be feasible due to current impact of COVID-19 community transmission, staffing, and parental and patients’ concerns. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued the following recommendations for prioritizing childhood immunizations during this pandemic period and strategies that can be implemented to slow the spread of disease.
Prioritizing Immunizations of Young Children
Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some practices may have to limit well child visits or not offer them at all.
If your practice can provide only limited well child visits, prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible.
Reschedule well visits for older children and adolescents to a later date. Keep a list of rescheduled appointments to facilitate patient recall later on.
AAP Strategies to modify clinic structure for delivery of prioritized care
- Separate well visits from sick visits. Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon.
- Separate patients spatially (e.g., place sick patients in different areas of the clinic).
- Clinics with multiple practice sites may consider using one office location to see all well visits (staffed by those in higher risk categories) and another location for sick visits.
- Collaborate with nearby providers to identify separate locations for child well visits.
- If available, deliver telehealth and utilize “drive through” dedicated COVID-19 testing sites.
CDC Guidance for adults and children
ACP Statement on Nonurgent In-Person Medical Care
AAFP Guidance for Family Physicians on Preventive and Non-urgent Care
ACOG Guidance During Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and FAQs
IMPORTANT: County/Local Health Department immunization clinics may be impacted by current COVID-19 response activities led by public health staff. As a result, some may have also reduced or closed immunization clinics and may not be able to immunize patients at this time. Please check with your county health department before making any referrals.
Arizona Immunization Program Office
150 N. 18th Avenue, Suite 120
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 364-3642
Fax: (602) 364-3276