Doctors urge keeping up on kids' vaccines for preventable illnesses ahead of winter months

That includes vaccines for measles, rubella, chicken pox and the flu.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- With school back in session, doctors reminded parents of the need for children to be up to date with their vaccinations.

That includes vaccines for measles, rubella, chicken pox and the flu.

"In general, we noticed a lot of patients had fallen behind on some immunizations because parents were afraid to bring them in over this past year, rightfully so," said Dr. Mitul Patel. "We don't want additional pandemics or epidemics based on vaccine-preventable diseases, so we want to make sure that kids are coming back in."

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Local physicians say their offices are the busiest they've been in a long time, as more patients come in with cold symptoms.

They point out, the more exposure to other people, the higher the likelihood of kids getting sick.

Dr. Patel said physicians' offices are also seeing more kids contracting COVID-19.

"We are seeing a lot more kids, a lot more positive COVID cases right now, in terms of kids being admitted and hospitalized. That's going up too. It's a really scary time," he said.

That's why health professionals stress the importance of children being up to date with their needed vaccinations for other preventable illnesses, especially as flu season approaches.

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Doctors say the best way parents can keep their children safe is by encouraging them to wear masks and practice social distancing while at school.

Dr. Patel also encouraged parents to have strong communication with their children and physicians so that if their children develop any symptoms, they can know when to keep them home from school.

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