NEW ORLEANS — I was leery of taking an unknown call Sunday afternoon on my cell phone from a Chicago number. When I answered a man said he was calling from the CDC.
I immediately had anxiety thinking they were contact tracers calling to say I had been exposed to someone with the coronavirus. But he said, "No," he was doing a survey on childhood vaccinations.
Well, I thought this could be a scam or a spoofed number, so I put him on hold and did some quick internet recon.
It turns out it’s legitimate. And I wanted to let you know since they are calling cell phones in the 504 area code now.
I called both the CDC in Atlanta and the Louisiana Department of Health in Baton Rouge to verify. We only heard back from the state health immunization team. They confirmed that the CDC is doing a childhood vaccination survey.
The legitimate numbers that will show up on your phone are listed in the link below. They are from the Chicago area code 312. The first question the caller asks is do you have children of a certain age in the home. They move to the next question only if your answer is yes. If not, you’re done.
But when it comes to childhood vaccinations, we remembered an important health message from pediatrician Dr. Michael Wasserman a few months ago. He had concerns that during this coronavirus pandemic, parents were skipping appointments for their children’s regular vaccines.
“These are very serious diseases which are preventable,” said Ochsner Pediatrician Dr. Michael Wasserman. “Measles is even more contagious than coronavirus. The droplets can stay in the air in a room for two to four hours.”
He reminds parents that illness such as mumps, measles and whooping cough can cause brain damage, infertility, loss of hearing and death.
“Please, please, please, don’t defer. Don’t delay. Get your immunizations now,” urged Dr. Wasserman.
Dr. Wasserman says doctors have also been asked if a coronavirus vaccine is included in the childhood vaccines. He reminds us that there is still no vaccine for this coronavirus.