Routine childhood vaccinations show dramatic drop during pandemic
Southern Seven Health Department is reporting a dramatic decrease in routine childhood vaccinations during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.
The health department noted in a July 6 news release that according to recent reports released by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC, routine childhood vaccinations have dropped as a result of families staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Southern Seven stated that the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP, recommend that every child continues to receive routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 outbreak to prevent the spread of other diseases.
One report, the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, observed declines in vaccination coverage might leave young children and communities vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles.
The report stated the potential outbreak of measles if vaccination coverage of 90 to 95 percent, the level needed to establish population immunity, is not achieved.
Concerted efforts are needed to ensure rapid catch-up for children who are not up-to-date with measles-containing vaccines, as well as other Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, ACIP,-recommended vaccinations, the health department advised.
Throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic Southern Seven Health Department reports that it has continued to provide health services to those living in the lower seven counties in Illinois, including vaccinations.
The health department reported that immunizations have decreased dramatically at its clinics, roughly 50 percent or greater, in comparison to this time last year.
The health department said this trend is troubling considering that children need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Routine vaccines help protect children and adolescents from 16 serious diseases.
Well-child visits and vaccinations are essential services and help make sure children are protected.
Those who are requiring vaccinations are asked to please call the health department for an appointment.
Southern Seven noted that it is still implementing pull-up policies at all of its sites.
Vaccines for Children, VFC, vaccines can be given at sites as well. Since VFC vaccines must be ordered, an appointment is required.
All seven of the health department’s clinics are back to their regular office schedules.
On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases, Southern Seven advised.
Vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages.
For more information, or to schedule a child’s vaccines, call Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297.