A recent study has noted a severe decline in child vaccine coverage during the pandemic. The report, released on May 18, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, showed 50% decline in the provision of vaccines.
“It’s critical that we help parents understand that they need to get their children in,” says Dr. Sara “Sally” H. Goza, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a pediatrician in Fayetteville. “Measles, whooping cough: It does not take a lot for those to come back. If we don’t have enough herd immunity, they will come back. We could even have polio. It’s still out there, you know” she added.
On March 13, 2020 US declared an emergency state. Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place orders were issued. This was aimed at social-distancing as a safety precaution. “Such strategies might result in decreased accessibility to routine immunization services, leaving children at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases and their complications” said the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Due to the distancing, it is almost impossible to provide the vaccination services. This is resulting in decreased vaccination in children. The parents are afraid of reaching out to doctors and it is difficult to vaccine using any other source.
“There’s the mom of the infant who can only take public transportation, who also has her elderly dad at home,” Dr. Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts said. “Some don’t even feel comfortable asking for or getting a ride from someone. What do you say in that situation? Everybody is just trying to keep everyone safe.” She added.
That’s the situation. Because of all this, more than half of the children in United States are missing the scheduled vaccination. The parents are afraid of taking their children to doctors and this is alarming. The health experts are saying that this the situation might be threatening. The children are to be vaccinated at the age of 1, 3, 5, 7, 16, 19, and 24 months.
“Many vaccinations don’t work with just one dose,” said Dr. Claire McCarthy. If the children are given one dose still there are chances of getting the diseases.
To manage this, the Boston Medical Centre has made an effort, Bringing the vaccines to the children.
The hospital borrowed two ambulances from Brewster Ambulances and is using them as vaccination hospital. Hospital goes to children and they are vaccinated. But this facility is very limited.
Experts are saying that the problem depends on the number of doses a kid missed and can they get on the doctors’ calendar before they go back to the schools.