With many parents putting well-child checkups on hold during the pandemic due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19, an Intermountain Healthcare doctors on Tuesday says now is the time to make sure children are healthy.
“This is the window of time that we really want to promote that kiddos get in,” Dr. Donna Barhorst, medical director of Intermountain Medical Group Pediatric Services, said in a Tuesday news conference.
She also noted that with the possibility of the COVID-19 vaccine receiving approval for use in children, the timing of other childhood immunizations takes on new importance.
It’s recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered at least 14 days before or after a person gets any other vaccines, Barhorst said. So it’s a good idea to bring children in for checkups so that any other overdue vaccines can be administered as soon as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Well-child checkups are designed to make sure a child’s overall well-being is in good shape, from nutrition to immunizations, Barhorst said. The checkups also provide parents with an opportunity to ask pediatricians any questions they might have about their child’s health.
Though the COVID-19 vaccine is currently approved only for people age 16 and older, it’s likely that federal regulators will approve the vaccine for use in the 12-15 age group sometime this summer, Barhorst said.
The reminder for regular doctor visits comes as the Utah Department of Health reported another 327 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with three more deaths.
The health department estimates there are now 8,508 active cases of the disease in Utah.
The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 391, according to the health department. The seven-day average for positive test rate for people over people” is now 6.2%. The average when all tests are counted is 3.2%. The number of total tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now 4,596,604, up 13,152 since Monday. Of those, 4,730 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19.
The state also saw another 19,908 vaccine doses administered since Monday, according to the Utah Department of Health. A total of 2,073,225 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, with 1,268,341 people having at least one vaccine dose, and 891,418 are now fully vaccinated.
There are 137 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 60 in intensive care units, state data shows. About 67% of all intensive care unit beds in Utah are occupied as of Tuesday.
The state’s death toll stands at 2,186 since the start of the pandemic. The three deaths reported Tuesday were:
- A Salt Lake County man who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when he died.
- A Washington County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility.
- A Weber County woman who was between the ages of 25 and 44 and was hospitalized when she died.