TYLER, Texas — It's National Infant Immunization Week and local health leaders are working to get the word out about the importance of vaccinating your children.
COVID-19 affected a lot of things, one of them being child immunization rates.
According to the National Immunization Survey, the pandemic has decreased the percentage of routine annual child vaccination visits. Part of the reason was because parents were hesitant to bring their children to a doctor's office due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
But now, health care providers are trying to get that rate back up to what it was pre-pandemic.
On Tuesday morning, the Northeast Texas Public Health District hosted a vaccination clinic in Tyler for kids to receive their childhood-recommended vaccines at no cost.
Getting your child vaccinated can help prevent vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus or hepatitis along with others.
Not only does it protect your child but it helps protect others by preventing the spread of these diseases, said Sylvia Warren, immunization director at NET Health in Tyler.
"We are here we are available, we got the vaccines, and that's what's important to us is that we prevent these things from happening," Warren said. "So that's what we're here for... prevention and promoting the fact that vaccines are safe, and that vaccines do save lives."
In some cases it can be hard to get a child vaccinated because of severe allergies or a weakened immune system.
However, for those in which that isn't the case, health care professionals said it's important to stay on top of their child's immunization records as the benefits of vaccines outweigh possible side effects.
For more information on childhood vaccinations, click here.