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Issue 1494
 
Issue 1494: May 11, 2020


Special Edition: Routine Vaccine Orders Plummet

 


Special Edition: Routine Vaccine Orders Plummet


CDC publishes “Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration—United States, 2020" in MMWR Early Release 

CDC published Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration—United States, 2020 in a May 8 early release of MMWR. The report describes drastic reductions in vaccine ordering from the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program and also in vaccine administration to children and teens in recent weeks.

Various shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders have helped slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, recent findings show these restrictions have resulted in a troubling decrease in the number of children getting their recommended vaccinations. On March 24, CDC posted guidance stressing the importance of routine well-child visits and immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. But recent data show a notable decrease in the ordering and administering of childhood vaccines.  



A decline in measles-containing vaccine administration began the week after the declaration of the national emergency on March 13. Similar decreases were also noted for multiple vaccines that are essential to keep other serious diseases from reappearing during this public health emergency. The data indicate that many children are now vulnerable to several serious, vaccine-preventable diseases. The shortfalls are especially significant for children 2 through 18 years of age.

Going forward, healthcare organizations will need to promote childhood and adolescent vaccinations, including reaching out to parents of patients who are overdue for their recommended vaccinations. 

Parental fears about potentially exposing children to COVID-19 may contribute to the recent decline in vaccine delivery. Medical practices need to implement safety protocols to protect families and reassure parents that safety protocols are in place. Clinicians and health departments need to continue coordinated efforts to achieve the rapid vaccination catch-up necessary to avoid outbreaks of deadly diseases. 

Vaccinating children and teens is of the utmost importance. Parents need to schedule and attend well-child checkups, seek vaccination on schedule, and communicate with their healthcare provider to make sure children are up to date on all their vaccinations.  

The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the importance of vaccination and prevention of disease. Postponing vaccinations puts millions of children at risk for preventable infection. 

Access the MMWR article in HTML format or in PDF format.

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CDC shares social media content for communicating with parents to encourage child and teen vaccination during pandemic

CDC has made available sample social media messages highlighting CDC’s parent-friendly immunization schedules for children 0-6 years old in English and Spanish. We encourage you to forward them to parents in your network.
 
Clinicians, remember to use CDC’s catch-up immunization schedule.

     
 
Sample social media messages for parents:

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The Immunization Action Coalition welcomes redistribution of this issue of IAC Express or selected articles. When you do so, please add a note that the Immunization Action Coalition is the source of the material and provide a link to this issue.

IAC Express is supported in part by Grant No. 6NH23IP922550 from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of IAC and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 6NH23IP22550) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.