Getting your vaccines in primary care
5/4/2020 by Robert M. Jacobson, MD, and Julie Gebel, BSN, RN, CLC; Debra Goodew RN
Throughout the past month, everyone has changed how they live and work due to COVID-19. Staying-at-home and maintaining social distancing played key roles in flattening the curve. Those actions helped lessen the impact of COVID-19 for patients, health care, and communities. The manner in which health care has been received and provided has changed, too. Extensive measures have been put in place to make health care sites safer. These measures now require universal masking, enhanced cleaning, thorough COVID-19 screening, COVID-19 testing, as well as mindfulness of personal protective equipment.
During the past month of COVID-19, many patients have become due or late for vaccines we routinely recommend. Vaccines lessen your risk for disease and injury. With safety measures now in place, you can resume face-to-face visits for vaccines due or past due. These visits include infants, children, and adults. It's important for us to now get back to providing those vaccines.
If during a virtual visit you are found to be due or late for vaccines, your provider will schedule a face-to-face nurse visit to receive the vaccines. Alternatively, you can call directly to schedule a nurse visit for vaccines due or late.
Robust screening measures will continue for all patients prior to having any face-to-face appointments. Upon scheduling, you will be asked to answer the COVID-19 screening questions. You must have a negative screening to be scheduled for a nurse or provider face-to-face visit. Scheduling staff will also contact you within 48 hours in advance of your appointment to confirm COVID-19 symptoms are not present. Adult patients must come to the visit alone. Only one parent can come along with a child. You will be screened again at the clinic entrance upon check-in.
It is important to keep on-schedule with routine vaccines. Providing the safest environment for you and our staff, in strict adherence with federal and state executive orders and guidance, is a priority to offer face-to-face immunization visits to those patients that are due for them.
Dr. Robert M. Jacobson is a pediatrician in Primary Care in Rochester/Kasson's Division of Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (CPAM) and is medical director of the Primary Care Immunization Program.
Julie A. Gebel is a registered nurse in Primary Care in Rochester/Kasson and is the program coordinator of the Primary Care Immunization Program.