The Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP) and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) have partnered to encourage Minnesotans to practice good health and maintain routine childhood vaccinations.

Vaccinations in Minnesota and across the country have drastically decreased due to COVID-19 and fears associated with seeking health care at a physician’s office or other medical clinics.

It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of Minnesota’s children have delayed physician visits, important vaccinations, chronic health care and routine treatment of everyday illnesses because parents are understandably concerned about bringing their children to the clinic for fear of exposure to the virus.

“Minnesota’s physicians strongly urge parents to continue with their children’s routine vaccinations for the health and safety of their children, families and the community,” said Keith Stelter, MD, MMA president. “Health care practices and clinics are doing their part to ensure a safe, secure and healthy environment for patients and vaccinations.”

The MMA, the MNAAP and the MAFP believe all children should be vaccinated, except for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Widespread, high rates of vaccination serve to protect the most vulnerable among us, including newborns, those with cancer and other conditions which impair their immune system, and elderly adults.

This “community immunity” serves to protect those who cannot be for medical reasons. The safety of vaccines has been overwhelmingly established through decades of research and study. 

Under current state law, children must be vaccinated to attend public school in Minnesota.

However, Minnesota is one of about 15 states that allow parents to exempt their children from immunization requirements based on their personal beliefs. Statewide, about 2 percent of children are exempted from immunization requirements. Efforts are being made at the state level through legislation to try and repeal this exemption.

The MMA recently launched Practice Good Health, a unified effort of its 10,000 physician members to empower Minnesota families to proactively care for their physical and emotional well-being, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The effort provides patient clarity and supports Minnesota physicians to create the safest possible care environments and experiences.

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