Routine child and teen vaccinations dropped in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, and the increase in subsequent months was not enough to regain lost ground, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers looked at data on childhood vaccinations given from March to September 2020 in nine US states and New York City.
They found that the number of vaccinations dropped significantly from March to May, when eight out of 10 jurisdictions were under stay-at-home orders. Although vaccinations returned to pre-pandemic levels from June to September, when most stay-at-home orders were lifted, the team says this was not enough to “catch up” to children who missed routine vaccinations. Had gone.
The CDC-led team of researchers wrote, “This gap in catch-up vaccination could pose a serious public health threat that would result in outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease, particularly in schools that offer in-person learning.” have been reopened.”
During March to May, diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccination decreased by 15.7% for children under 2 years of age and 60% for children aged 2 to 6. 22.4% in children between the ages of 1 and 2 and 63% in children between the ages of 2 and 8. HPV vaccination declined by 63.6% in children aged 9 to 12 years and by 71.3% in adolescents aged 13 to 17 years.
Although vaccinations increased in subsequent months, none of the jurisdictions jumped above pre-pandemic levels, which the team says would have been necessary to make up for lost ground.
The analysis included data from Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York City, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
A separate analysis of insurance claims released Wednesday by GlaxoSmithKline showed that a potential 8.8 million teens missed vaccine doses in 2020. Claims for non-influenza vaccines have declined between 13 and 35% in teens over the past year.
The CDC researchers write, “As COVID-19 vaccination becomes more readily available to the pediatric population, CDC recommends that providers combine COVID-19 vaccines with other routinely recommended vaccines.” Consider co-administering the vaccine, especially when patients are behind or may fall behind on routinely recommended vaccines.”