Routine Vaccination During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Mother and her child wearing medical masks in clinic.

A CDC report released in May 2020 found a troubling drop in routine childhood vaccinations as a result of families staying at home. While families followed public health warnings about going out, an unfortunate result was many missed routine vaccinations. CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend every child continues to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Well-Child Visits and Vaccinations Are Essential Services

Children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential services and help make sure children are protected. Children who are not protected by vaccines may be more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough.

As communities are opening up, it’s important for parents to work with their children’s doctor or nurse to make sure their children stay up to date on routine vaccines.

Going to Medical Offices During the COVID-19 Outbreak

If your child is due for a well-child visit, call the doctor’s office and ask about ways they safely offer well-child visits during this time. Many medical offices are taking extra steps to make sure that well visits can happen safely during the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • Scheduling sick visits and well-child visits during different times of the day
  • Asking patients to remain outside until it’s time for their appointment to reduce the number of people in waiting rooms
  • Offering sick visits and well-child visits in different locations

Routine Vaccines for Children and Adolescents

Routine vaccines help protect children and adolescents from 16 serious diseases. These parent-friendly schedules outline what vaccines are recommended at which ages.

Need to Find Free Vaccines for Your Child?

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program provides eligible children vaccines at no cost. Check out the program’s requirements and talk to your child’s doctor or nurse to see if they are a VFC provider. You can also find a VFC provider by calling your state or local health department or seeing if your state has a VFC website.

Page last reviewed: June 3, 2020