While several CLSC have suspended the vaccination of children because of the epidemic of COVID-19, two organizations pediatric insist on the importance of continuing the program of immunization of infants and young children against the major infectious diseases in spite of the pandemic. They stress that vaccination of this population is even more crucial that daycare centers and schools will re-open soon in Quebec.
Some CLSCS of Montreal have stopped all vaccinations ” temporarily because of the COVID-19 “, they said in a message inviting us to call back in two or three months. Other vaccinate the dropper, with a focus on infants two and four months and cancelling appointments for children four to six years. Still others grant appointments, but “there may be a delay [before you succeed to get one] because it has a lot of staff [CLSC], which has been mobilized to go lend a hand [to NURSING homes],” says Jocelyne Boudreau, information officer of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’île-de-Montréal.
Yesterday, in an update on the impact of the COVID-19 on the medical care of the children, the canadian paediatric Society indicated that respect ” the schedule of routine vaccinations “, or that ” vaccination primary and booster doses “, for “infants, children and young people” is of ” vital importance during this pandemic “.
Dr. Marc Lebel, president of the Association of pediatricians of Quebec (APQ), which is a member of the committee on infectious diseases and immunization of the canadian pediatric Society (CPS), abounds in the same direction and press the Committee of the Quebec immunization to recommend a resumption of the vaccination, especially young children, throughout Quebec.
“Pediatricians, we are concerned by the fact that the vaccination has been suspended in some regions of Quebec. It is clear to us that if one is considering the reopening of child care facilities and schools, it is necessary to put energy in the vaccination “, he said before saying that ” in regions little affected by the COVID-19, i.e. the regions other than Montréal and Laval, the routine immunization continued. Only the regions affected have experienced an interruption “.
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The Committee on immunization of Québec had, until now, a strategy of immunization in the time of a pandemic, which stipulated that in the presence of exceptional circumstances, it could push back the time of routine vaccinations. The regional authorities could decide to allocate their staff according to their own priorities. Now, when one is considering déconfinement, this strategy needs to be reviewed, ” says Dr. LeBel.
“The Committee is currently conducting a revision of the opinion on vaccination activities during a pandemic coronavirus [ … ],” confirmed the Duty of the communications branch of the ministry of Health and social Services.
“The committee will, therefore, new recommendations to the department who will make the decisions, the better and the more likely would be to vaccinate the children. But, to do this, the Department and the public Health will be required to release staff. However, the strategy they will adopt is not yet determined. The CLSC where are given the vaccines most of the time must have the workforce and meet the standards of social distancing, a logistics will not be simple to organise. But I trust my colleagues in public Health to do so, ” says Dr. LeBel who also hope that we will resume the vaccination of pregnant women against pertussis in order to prevent cases of whooping cough severe in children.
The president of the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, Mr. Bertrand Bolduc, said that its members would not contribute to the vaccination of children, but it would be necessary to provide them with personal protective equipment, and vaccines.
“We are not on the list of staff for which it provides equipment protection. The pharmacists have managed all alone to find, ” he says.
It is really best to adhere to the immunization schedule is normal for toddlers, which provides for the administration of vaccines at the age of two, four, 12, and 18 months, ” says Dr. LeBel.
“When you push this vaccine, the protection is lower. By contrast, vaccination against infections by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is administered in the schools remains effective even if you space out the doses. The children received the first dose of vaccine last fall, they were to receive the second spring, but it could be delayed to the fall without a problem. “
In Quebec, even in Canada, ” immunization of young people is in general very high, which gives us a good herd immunity against the major infectious diseases. For example, there has been very few cases of measles, because the population is fairly well-vaccinated. In addition, children were relatively protected during the confinement. The latter reduces the risk of disease, because people were less exposed. But when they begin to reopen, it will be important that the vaccination is resumed. It has been 30 years since I worked in infectious diseases, I really prefer to prevent these diseases than to treat them ! And I’ve even seen children die of measles, “says it all, pointing out that” there are several diseases that he met when he was a young doctor and who have now disappeared thanks to vaccination “.
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