In the weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a national emergency, immunization rates for all recommended childhood vaccines dropped dramatically in the U.S., according to data collected by the CDC.
Researchers compared all routine non-influenza childhood vaccines ordered and given between January and mid-April of this year compared to the same time last year. They found a decline of roughly 2.5 million doses from last year, with most of the drop beginning a week after the March 13 national emergency declaration. This drop included about 250,000 fewer doses of vaccines providing protection against measles.
Measles cases were already on the rise even before COVID-19 became a pandemic. Last year, there were over 1200 measles cases reported in the U.S., the highest in over 25 years.
All parents should contact their pediatrician or family doctor to schedule a visit and discuss updating the child’s vaccines and undergo the regular well-child check-up.