FARGO — The Minnesota Medical Association estimates 70% to 80% of Minnesota’s children have delayed physician visits, important vaccinations, chronic health care and routine treatment of everyday illnesses because parents are concerned about bringing their children to the clinic for fear of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Similar trends are being seen throughout the nation, but physicians are urging parents not to let vital childhood immunizations lapse.

“I know the COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of patients nervous, but now is not the time to stop getting important vaccinations,” said Dr. Renee Crichlow, MD, president of the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians. “We all must practice good health, and getting scheduled vaccinations for you and your children is critical to that."

While vaccination rates have fallen since the beginning of the pandemic, scientists are working overtime to develop a vaccine to fight the coronavirus itself. But what do we really know about vaccines as a whole, for COVID-19 and otherwise? How do they work? Why do they take so long to develop? And just how effective are they?

In a months-long investigation, Forum Communications set out to get the facts from top, local health authorities. The issue of vaccinations remains controversial, so local physicians, infectious disease specialists, virologists, microbiologists and pharmacists talk provable facts, combating some of the most commonly-held myths and misconceptions.

Newsletter signup for email alerts