UCI Health Family Center doctor stresses importance of childhood vaccinations before returning to school

When it comes to health care access, mounting data shows communities of color are severely impacted due to health inequity and disparities. SoCal medical expert discusses some solutions and what families should do before kids return to school.

KABC logo
Saturday, July 11, 2020
UCI medical doctor stresses importance of back-to-school childhood vaccinations
EMBED <>More Videos

BACK TO SCHOOL VACCINES: Dr. Mayorga with UCI Health Family Center says many children are not keeping up with their preventive health care, and points out that part of returning to school safely is vaccinating children to help prevent critical infections, such as the measles and whooping cough.

There is so much evidence to show how communities of color are severely impacted due to health inequity and disparities when it comes to access and care.

So, what are some solutions to putting in more resources to help?

Dr. Jose Mayorga, executive director for UCI Health Family Center, joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss.

How does COVID-19 affect different communities in different ways?

"One of the things that we have to remember is that these community members have been essential workers for some time. They've been working in grocery stores, they've been doing food service industries, as well as janitorial services. And so, at UCI Family Health Center it's been very important for us to continue to manage the population we serve, which predominantly is Latino," said Dr. Mayorga.

What's the solution? Are community-based clinics part of the answer?

"Community health centers have been in existence for decades. And one of the key components that we're able to share with the community is -- we will see you, even if you have challenges with insurance or lack thereof. We deliver care in a high quality manner, as well as a very culturally sensitive way," said Dr. Mayorga.

Is it important that everyone have a primary care doctor?

"It is absolutely imperative, more now than ever, that people do have primary care established. We take care of acute illnesses, such as COVID-19, chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and then, most importantly we do preventative care," said Dr. Mayorga. "One of the things that really is one of the most disheartening things for me is I've noticed at our clinics - our children are not being brought in for their preventive health care maintenance. In other words, they're not getting their vaccines. So if we want to make sure our children go back safely, of course we have to deal with COVID-19, but let's not forget the other more critical infections out there that we have vaccines for, such as measles, whooping cough and pneumonia."

Watch the full interview in video above

Teachers union calls for LAUSD campuses to remain closed

Leaders for the union representing LAUSD teachers are calling for campuses to remain closed when the new school year begins next month.

Poll: 1 in 5 California parents say schools should not open this year

An exclusive Eyewitness News poll conducted by Survey USA asked parents in California about the possibility students returning to school campuses this fall.

RELATED: Academic, mental and physical benefits of in-person school outweigh virus risks, pediatrics group says

As states grapple with how to safely start the upcoming school year, the American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for students to be physically present in classrooms rather than continue in remote learning for the sake of their well-being.