Catching up on routine childhood and adolescent immunizations

Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services PSA:

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought disruption to lives in many forms. For many children and families, even routine preventative healthcare has been disrupted. This National Infant Immunization Week, the Missouri Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) highly encourage parents to ensure their children get caught up on or stay on track with routine vaccinations starting at birth to help protect them from serious diseases.

“As a parent, one of the best things you can do to protect your child is ensure that they see their doctor for well-child visits and recommended vaccines,” said Paula Nickelson, DHSS Acting Director. “Many vaccine-preventable diseases can have such devastating impacts, especially on vulnerable children. Assuring your child receives the vaccines can help you keep your child as healthy as possible.”

New CDC data show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood immunization. During the 2020-2021 school year, national vaccination coverage dropped from 95% to below 94%, which amounts to 35,000 more children across the U.S. entering kindergarten without documentation of complete vaccination against common diseases. Moreover, nearly 400,000 fewer children entered kindergarten than expected. Those children, too, might not be up to date on their routine vaccinations— further evidence of how pandemic-related disruptions to healthcare and education could have lingering consequences for school-age children.

Routine, safe and effective vaccinations during childhood help prevent 16 diseases. These diseases can have life-altering and sometimes tragic impacts on families. Severe symptoms can include:

  • Skin infections
  • Pneumonia (serious lung infection)
  • Long-term flu-like symptoms
  • Infections causing cancer
  • Severe dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Intense muscle spasms
  • Brain damage
  • Paralysis
  • Deafness (temporary or permanent)
  • Loss of limbs
  • Meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord)
  • Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
  • Orchitis (swelling of the testicles) in males who have reached puberty
  • Oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) and/or mastitis (swelling of the breasts) in females who have reached puberty

The key is for infants, children and adolescents to keep up on their well-child visits for preventive care. These visits allow the doctor to track the child’s growth and development, provide recommended vaccinations and answer questions about the child’s health.

“Immunizations are a key tool to ensuring children stay healthy,” said Dr. Kristin Sohl, President, Missouri Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics. “We encourage parents and caregivers to schedule well-child checks to ensure your child’s overall health and wellbeing, as well as getting them up-to-date on important vaccinations..”

Missouri falls just below the national average, ranking 30th among states, for children ages 0-17 completing one or more well-child visits in 2021.

 

“Childhood vaccines have all been studied in depth to determine the most appropriate time in a child’s life for them to be given,” said Dr. Rachel Orscheln, Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University in St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “We really want to vaccinate children at the earliest possible moment because young children, particularly infants, can be at risk of severe illness from certain infections.”

 

Among children born from 1994-2018, vaccinations will prevent an estimated 936,000 early deaths, 8 million hospitalizations and 419 million illnesses.

 

The Vaccines for Children program is funded by the CDC and provides free vaccines to children who qualify. Children 18 and under are eligible to receive free vaccines if they are Medicaid-eligible, do not have health insurance, are American Indian or Alaskan Native or are underinsured. Find the nearest Vaccines for Children program provider.

 

 

View the schedule of recommended childhood and adolescent vaccinations.

 

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COVID-19 Vaccine Update: Walk-In’s Welcome!

March 31, 2022 PCHD COVID PSA

2 years of COVID-19 in Pike County, MO – Where are we now?

PIKE COUNTY, MO – Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic the Pike County Health Department has continued to implement mitigation strategies to help keep our communities safe and informed. Since 2020, our agency staff has worked hard to keep up with the ever-changing data, information and education in order to ensure we are giving the most up-to-date recommendations per CDC guidelines and apply them to our current county level situation. We continue to address many other public health issues with education and prevention strategies. We believe these last two years have prepared us to be even better at responding to any future COVID-19 surge and other public health emergencies.  We continue to promote and protect the health, safety, and well-being of all through the many services we have to offer. Our community has grown stronger together through these hard times and it makes us proud to continue serving such amazing individuals.

In the recent months we have slowly been making changes to our online reporting; you will see that we are currently updating positive case counts twice weekly. We have also added direct links that will take citizens directly to the CDC and MODHSS (Missouri Department Health & Senior Services) online COVID-19 dashboards for more data and statistics per county, state, and national levels.

Although we are no longer making contact with positive COVID-19 cases or contact tracing to the extent we were in the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to monitor these cases as we do with other communicable diseases; investigating outbreaks and offering recommendations to individuals and businesses on how to manage and/or mitigate the illness for their specific situation. We are seeing that our COVID-19 case managing duties are becoming increasingly similar to how we have always managed other communicable diseases, which we believe is a positive movement.

BEGINNING APRIL 1st, 2022 we will be offering COVID-19 vaccines daily with no appointment necessary for those ages 12 and up. Pediatric COVID-19 vaccines (ages 5-11) will still be required to make an appointment. Those interested can receive their vaccines at our office from 8am-12p and from 1-4pm. Walk-ins will be on a first come, first serve basis and are subject to availability just as any other vaccine we have to offer.

CDC now states that those who have had their primary doses (two dose series of Pfizer or Moderna OR a single dose of Johnson & Johnson) are considered fully vaccinated, and those who have received their primary doses along with their boosters are considered up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.

COVID-19 and its variants are still a large concern for many people. Those who are severely immunocompromised or unvaccinated are still at highest risk of contracting and spreading this virus. We continue to encourage everyone to keep themselves and their families safe by practicing good hygiene, staying home when sick and wearing a mask when in large public spaces. Staying up to date on the currently recommended vaccines is a largely effective way to fight against these viruses. Pike County Health Department is available and willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding COVID-19 or any other agency matter. Reach us by calling 573-324-2111, by visiting our website at www.pikecountyhealth.org or follow us on social media.

CDC Recommends Additional Boosters for Certain Individuals

*The Pike County Health Dept. anticipates to see an increase in vaccine demand following this new recommendation. Please be patient as we work to prepare for assisting those interested in receiving a 2nd booster.*

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2022
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Data continue to show the importance of vaccination and booster doses to protect individuals both from infection and severe outcomes of COVID-19. For adults and adolescents eligible for a first booster dose, these shots are safe and provide substantial benefit. During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21-times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7-times less likely to be hospitalized. CDC continues to recommend that all eligible adults, adolescents, and children 5 and older be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, which includes getting an initial booster when eligible.

Following FDA’s regulatory actionexternal icon today, CDC is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

These updated recommendations acknowledge the increased risk of severe disease in certain populations including those who are elderly or over the age of 50 with multiple underlying conditions, along with the currently available data on vaccine and booster effectiveness.

The following is attributable to Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky:

“Today, CDC expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals who may be at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Boosters are safe, and people over the age of 50 can now get an additional booster 4 months after their prior dose to increase their protection further. This is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19 as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time. CDC, in collaboration with FDA and our public health partners, will continue to evaluate the need for additional booster doses for all Americans.”

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GOVERNOR PARSON ANNOUNCES END TO COVID-19 CRISIS IN MISSOURI

MARCH 30, 2022

 — Today, during a press conference at the State Capitol, Governor Mike Parson announced an end to the COVID-19 crisis in Missouri and that the state will be shifting to an endemic phase of the pandemic on Friday, April 1, 2022.

A whole-of-government COVID-19 emergency response was taken for more than two years, an effort that responded to the needs of all Missourians during the global pandemic and sustained state operations as more was learned about the novel virus. Vaccines, testing resources, and treatments are now readily available for all Missourians, and much of the population now has some immunity to the virus.

“Over the past two years, we have learned a lot that will help us respond to future outbreaks and challenges that may come our way,” Governor Parson said. “We don’t know if this virus will ever completely go away, but we do know that there is no longer a need to live in crisis mode and that we can shift our response to meet the current needs of Missourians. The COVID-19 crisis is over in the state of Missouri, and we are moving on.”

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, is expected to continue to circulate in communities, meaning it will be considered endemic like many other diseases. The endemicity also means that surveillance priority will change from monitoring case numbers to monitoring disease severity and societal impact as new waves of infection come and go. This transition does not minimize the continued importance of public health surveillance, investigation, and response activities, as is necessary to mitigate any disease.

“As we enter this phase of our state’s recovery, we continue to encourage Missourians to safeguard their own health and the health of loved ones through tried and true public health measures,” said Department of Health and Senior Services Acting Director Paula Nickelson. “Missourians should feel confident that we will remain vigilant when monitoring COVID-19 levels throughout the state.”

Over the past two years, the state was able to achieve some incredible milestones in responding to COVID-19:

Testing Capacity

  • More than 14 million tests performed by public health partners

Treatment Options

  • More than 81,000 treatment courses distributed by the State of Missouri

Vaccine Availability

  • More than 8.7 million doses administered by public health partners

In addition to vaccines, testing, and treatment options, which are some of the most effective tools to fight COVID-19, Missouri has expanded capabilities over the past two years in areas of personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital capacity, and data collection. These capabilities allow Missouri to adapt to changing needs regarding COVID-19 in the future.

Missouri’s approach moving forward will allow state and local health officials to closely monitor community level of COVID-19, determine which variants of SARS-CoV-2 are circulating through the genomic surveillance, and assess disease severity and impact of COVID-19-associated illnesses.

Beginning Friday, the Department of Health and Senior Services will provide weekly dashboard updates that will include 7-day case rate data, activity by region and county, statewide data on COVID-19 hospitalizations, and circulating virus variants. This is a flexible approach allowing accommodation for future surges, should they occur, and require more frequent updates and additional datasets.

More information about vaccines, testing resources, and treatment options along with the updated COVID-19 dashboard and details about this phase of the pandemic can be found by visiting health.mo.gov/coronavirus.

A booklet with more information regarding the transition to endemic phase can be found by clicking here.

Community Health Needs Assesment – Please take this survey!

🗣Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Pike County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) requests your input in order to create a 2022-2024 Regional Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). To collect “up to date” community feedback, a short online survey has been created to uncover current community health issues and evaluate local health delivery. Survey is funded by PCMH.
While your participation is voluntary and confidential, all community input is valued. Thank you for your feedback. The deadline to participate is Friday, April 8, 2022.

NEW! CDC’s COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation (Q&I) Calculator

CDC’s new COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation (Q&I) Calculator takes the stress out of figuring when, and for how long, people with COVID-19 and close contacts need to stay home, get tested, and wear a well-fitting mask. Developed in response to requests from partners and the public, the calculator provides important information about what precautions people with COVID-19 and their close contacts can take to protect loved ones and slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

*Please note that the Q&I Calculator is not for people with COVID-19 who are moderately or severely ill or those who have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)—you should talk to your doctor about when to end isolation.  In addition, this tool does not apply to cases and close contacts identified in certain settings. Parents with children in K-12 schools or early care and education (ECE) programs should consult the program administrator for specific isolation and quarantine guidance in their school or ECE setting. 

We have added this calculator to our website for the public to easily access, just click here >>>

You can also find it on the CDC website along with other helpful information, just click here >>>

Get Vaccinated and Stay Up to Date

COVID-19 Vaccines:
Get Vaccinated and Stay Up to Date
  • Fully vaccinated means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Up to date means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose when eligible.

COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and even dying. As with vaccines for other diseases, people who are up to date are protected best. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster shot.

LEARN MORE >>>

CDC UPDATE: Recommendations for People with COVID-19 and COVID-19 Close Contacts

Recommendations for People with COVID-19

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 or have mild symptoms and are waiting for test results?

Here’s What To Do:

Isolate. Stay at home for at least 5 days.*

To keep others safe in your home, wear a mask, stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if you can.

Do not travel for 10 days.

If you can’t wear a mask, stay home and away from other people for 10 days.

To calculate the recommended time frames, day 0 is the day you were tested if you don’t have symptoms, or the date your symptoms started.

Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your test results and available treatment options. Watch for symptoms, especially fever. If you have an emergency warning sign, such as trouble breathing or persistent chest pain or pressure, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Day 6: Do a self-check. How are you feeling?

You could have loss of taste or smell for weeks or months after you feel better. These symptoms should not delay the end of isolation.

No symptoms or symptoms improving.

No fever without fever-reducing medication for 24 hours: You can leave isolation. Keep wearing a mask around other people at home and in public for 5 more days (days 6-10).

Symptoms not improving and/or still have fever: Continue to stay home until 24 hours after your fever stops without using fever-reducing medication and your symptoms have improved.

After you feel completely better, keep wearing a mask around other people at home and in public through day 10.

*If you are moderately or severely illexternal icon (including being hospitalized or requiring intensive care or ventilation support) or immunocompromised, please talk to your healthcare provider about when you can end isolation. Please refer to COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation for guidance on isolation in healthcare settings and high risk congregate settings (such as correctional and detention facilities, homeless shelters, or cruise ships).

Recommendations for COVID-19 Close Contacts

Have you been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19? You were a close contact if you were less than 6 feet away from someone with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (excluding K-12 settings).

Here’s What To Do:

Protect Others

Take these steps to keep others safe.

Quarantine if you are not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines or didn’t have COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days. If you are up to date or had COVID-19 in the past 90 days you do not have to quarantine.

  • Avoid travel through day 10.

Wear a mask around other people for 10 days.

Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days.

Up to date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.

Get Tested

Get a COVID-19 test on or after day 5 or if you have symptoms.

People who had COVID-19 in the past 90 days should only get tested if they develop symptoms.

You tested negative. You can leave your home.

  • Keep wearing a mask in public and when traveling through day 10.

You tested positive or have symptoms.

  • Isolate away from other people. Stay home for at least 5 days and follow steps for isolation.
  • Do not travel for 10 days.

If you are unable to get tested, you can leave your home after day 5 if you have not had symptoms. Keep wearing a mask in public and avoid travel through day 10.

To calculate the recommended time frames, day 0 is the date you last had close contact to someone with COVID-19.

If you can’t wear a mask, stay home (quarantine) and away from other people, and do not travel for 10 days.

Please refer to COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation for guidance on quarantine in healthcare settings and high risk congregate settings (such as correctional and detention facilities, homeless shelters, or cruise ships).

 

READ MORE: >>>>>

Missouri Department of Health – Free Radon Test Kit Offer

Radon (Rn) is a gaseous radioactive element that occurs from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil and rocks. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Radon becomes a risk indoors because as it continues to break down, it emits atomic particles that upon entering the lungs can alter the DNA and increase lung cancer risk. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation and is classified as a “Class A” carcinogen according to EPA.
Radon is not known to cause asthma or any other type of respiratory distress. Radon can be tested and measured (in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air) and there are estimated risks to health from the exposure depending on the concentration. DHSS in conjunction with EPA recommends that if the concentration of radon is 4 pCi/L or greater, then remediation should be done to lower risks. Smoking in conjunction with radon exposure greatly increases the risk of cancer. See the risk chart. For more information about radon see “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.”

MODHSS: Missouri announces first case of COVID-19 caused by Omicron variant

For Immediate Release:

December 3, 2021

 

Media Contact:

Lisa Cox, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Lisa.Cox@health.mo.gov

 

 

Missouri announces first case of COVID-19 caused by Omicron variant

 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) announced the state’s first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant named Omicron. One week ago, the World Health Organization classified this variant, B.1.1.529, now known as Omicron, as a Variant of Concern due to identified concerning types of mutations.

“Although there is much we still need to learn about this new variant, we do know the best tool currently available to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is personal prevention. I urge Missourians to seek information on the Omicron variant from DHSS and trusted medical sources opposed to social media,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director. “We also encourage Missourians to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and staying informed this holiday season as this new variant is investigated further.”

Public health experts worldwide are working quickly to learn more about the Omicron variant and how it may impact the health and safety of citizens. The transmissibility and disease severity caused by Omicron are still unknown. Scientists are also studying the degree to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against Omicron.

 

DHSS was notified by public health partners of a sample presumed positive for the Omicron variant originating from a St. Louis City resident who had recent domestic travel history. The sample was originally sequenced as part of commercial laboratory surveillance and results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

“The Delta variant is still the predominant variant present in Missouri, currently representing well over 99 percent of the cases. Citizens are urged to complete their vaccination series for COVID-19 and get their booster,” said Kauerauf.

DHSS will continue to work with public health partners to monitor for an increase in the Omicron variant, as well as trends in other variants. To learn more about Missouri’s variant monitoring efforts, visit Health.Mo.Gov.

DHSS has been regularly providing the public with actionable information to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The agency continues to recommend that residents follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, frequent handwashing and maintaining physical distance from others.

 

Everyone 5 years and older is highly encouraged to protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated (and boosted if age 18 and older). Missourians should also take the opportunity to get their annual influenza vaccination as part of their risk reduction activities to protect themselves and others from seasonal respiratory illness.

 

Travelers to the U.S. should continue to follow CDC recommendations for safe traveling. Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines in Missouri at MailScanner has detected a possible fraud attempt from “covidvaccine.mo.gov” claiming to be MOStopsCovid.com.

 

How Missourians can get a free COVID-19 vaccine:

How Missourians can get a free COVID-19 test:

 

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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo