The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 11, 2020 1:00 am


Worth a Shot

Immunizations vital as pandemic lingers

As Allen County residents wait in quiet desperation for a COVID-19 vaccine to become available to the general public, a focus on the coronaviurus has led many parents to forget that other vaccines are readily available to prevent diseases that can also kill.

Super Shot, a leading provider of immunizations in Allen County, reports a 54% decrease in the number of doses of vaccines administered in May 2020, compared to May 2019. Super Shot administrators worry that lagging immunization rates will cause a significant uptick in the incidence of influenza and other preventable diseases, which could further burden the health care system over the fall and winter. Super Shot offers immunizations to prevent a variety of diseases – including measles, meningitis and whooping cough – to anyone in Allen County, regardless of their ability to pay.

The critical importance of immunization can't be overemphasized, said Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, a pediatrician with Parkview Health and past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Immunizations are absolutely the most effective way to protect our children from dangerous and communicable diseases,” he said. “There is no other treatment that is more effective or safer than immunization. When we see immunization levels drop, it's a really big concern for pediatricians because we're at capacity for trying to treat children for other things. If parents are foregoing immunizations for fear of seeing their physicians, that's a huge concern.”

As the pandemic took hold last spring, Super Shot closed all but one of its four offices in Allen County and implemented a series of safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Immunizations are provided by appointment only in the office at 1515 Hobson Road, and the number of people in the office is limited to one parent and one child at a time. Temperature checks are conducted at the door, and masks are required. The Super Shot staff expedites paperwork to limit the amount of time patients spend in the office. People to be immunized are moved to a sanitized exam room as soon as they arrive.

GiaQuinta said pediatricians are united in their belief that vaccines are safe and effective, and stand ready to help dispel misinformation and help parents understand why immunizations are vital to their children's health and well-being.

In a scary, uncertain world, the preventive power of immunization offers the best protection there is.

To schedule

To make a Super Shot appointment, call 260-424-7468 or email

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