Orders for vaccines against diseases such as measles have declined since a national emergency was declared in the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
The number of vaccine doses ordered around the country has fallen sharply since mid-March, the CDC said, citing data from the Vaccine Tracking System.
The study compared data from March 13 to April 19 of this year to the same period last year.
“There is a drop of 2.5 million doses of all routine non-influenza vaccines and 250,000 doses of measles-containing vaccines that appears to be the result of staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak,” the CDC said.
“The decline began the week after the national emergency declaration,” it said.
The drop in administering measles vaccinations was less among children aged two years old or younger.
“The smaller decline in measles-containing vaccine administration among children aged 24 months or less suggests that system-level strategies to prioritize well child care and immunization for this age group are being implemented,” they said.
The authors of the report said that “while social distancing efforts have helped to slow the spread of COVID-19, it also has resulted in delays and decreases in the number of children getting their recommended routine vaccines.”
“Now and as local and state public health measures like stay-at-home orders are lifted, it’s essential that parents make sure their children continue to be protected from deadly vaccine-preventable diseases,” they said in an email to AFP.