Amy Crawford-Faucher, MD, vice chair of the Primary Care Institute and Department of Family Medicine at Allegheny Health Network, discussed the potential of a respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in children, as well as ongoing efforts to get childhood vaccination rates back on track.
Amy Crawford-Faucher, MD, vice chair of the Primary Care Institute and Department of Family Medicine at Allegheny Health Network, discussed whether respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines could become part of the immunization schedule and how her practice is addressing immunization rates in children.
When RSV vaccines for infants do become available in the United States, are you expecting them to be included on the childhood immunization schedule? What will families need to know?
So I think that really comes down to what that looks like, how effective it is. I think if there's broad public health implications, and of course, if we can keep an infant from getting seriously ill, then I can see it potentially definitely getting connected or getting added to the plethora of infant vaccines that we give. Honestly, I think we’ve got to wait and see what it looks like and the timing.
How is your practice working to try and get families back on track with childhood immunizations?
So, I think that you're absolutely right, we did fall behind on not just COVID-19 and flu vaccinations but other childhood vaccines. So, it's a process approach and it's an individual approach. From a process approach, our practice is reaching out to children who aren't fully immunized and trying to get them in and working with parents to be flexible on how to do that. We approach any child that comes in for a sick visit, even, and we always review immunizations during that time. You know, the harder decision or the harder challenges [are] for families who've chosen not to immunize their children across the board and that is ongoing conversations about trust and dispelling myths, and that is sometimes a very long haul. And that was prepandemic, but I do think that the pandemic has worsened some of that.