COVID, RSV and other viruses in kids can cause delays in getting routine vaccines

Kids can receive routine vaccines with the COVID vaccine at the same time
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 7:22 PM CST
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PEORIA (HEART OF ILLINOIS ABC) - Kids are already required to get a laundry list of vaccines throughout their early years. Two doctors we spoke with today say with a new COVID vaccine, and higher than usual rates of different viruses spreading, timing your vaccines can be critical.

Doctor Kristi Ray with OSF Healthcare said if a child is really sick or has recently recovered from a fever, they will likely delay immunizations. She said the body may not give the desired immune response after recovering from another sickness. And right now, she’s seeing an unusual trend in kids when it comes to the common childhood virus RSV.

Dr. Ray added, “There’s been kind of an unusual rate of RSV. So, typically that’s a winter illness that we see. But we’ve been seeing a lot of RSV since the summer really, and we continue to see it.”

And pediatrician for UnityPoint Health, Doctor Marion Willemsen-Reid said that’s not the only virus circulating. Plus, they’re seeing more and more COVID in little ones. Dr. Willemsen-Reid added, “And that uptick has definitely gone up even in kids currently. But we’ve also got metanumo virus, rhinovirus, and of course RSV, and influenza is here.”

She said, unfortunately the symptoms for the different viruses overlap, making it hard to diagnose without testing, and a lot of times it ends up in a bad ear infection or pneumonia.

Both doctors said important practices to keep kids safe are lots of handwashing, staying home and away from others if sick, wearing your mask, eating healthy, and getting good sleep! Getting the right amount of sleep is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health.

OSF Dr. Ray concluded with saying be kind, it is easy to be short with people when things are stressful and you don’t feel well physically or mentally. We are in this together.

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