SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — While hospitals and many doctor’s offices have been busy treating patients with COVID 19 symptoms, many pediatricians are seeing a steep decline in yearly check ups.
At some pediatric offices in the Bay Area, only a third of their patients are showing up for their yearly exams. The annual well check visit is a time when pediatricians get a glimpse of a child’s physical and mental health.
“One of the reasons we are really anxious to get kids back in is that we’ve all been through this unprecedented time,” said Dr. Nelson Branco with Tamalpais Pediatrics.
To alleviate some parents’ concerns about coming in contact with COVID 19, Tamalpais Pediatrics in Marin County recently rented out an office that will only treat patients with coronavirus symptoms.
It will almost be business as usual at their other two locations, but doctor’s schedules will be staggered and other precautions will be implemented.
“We’re having patients come and go at different times so that we don’t bring people into the office together so we can try to maintain the physical distance as much as we can,” Branco said.
Dr. Anita Juvvadi with Juvvadi Pediatrics in Mountain View also reassures her patients.
“The doctors offices are taking every precaution and every safeguard to make sure your child does not get exposed but it is vital that your vaccines get done on time,” she said.
Juvvadi has also seen a decline in patients. She can’t stress enough the importance of vaccines to prevent an outbreak of a disease that can be controlled.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is possibly at least a year away but we have vaccines for other diseases that are equally dangerous so we want to protect your child from at least those,” she said.
Doctors say by getting the vaccines, it can keep the stress off our healthcare system just in case cases of the coronavirus increase again after some restrictions are lifted next week.