To Your Health: Catch up on Immunizations During National Immunization Awareness Month
Over the last year, parents may have been concerned about potentially exposing their children to COVID-19 so they skipped well-child visits. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to remind parents of the vital need to protect their children against serious vaccine-preventable diseases, even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As social distancing requirements are relaxed, children who are not protected by vaccines will be more vulnerable to diseases such as measles. Coordinated efforts between healthcare providers and public health officials will be necessary to achieve rapid catch-up vaccination.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month.
The New York Times reports that the number of administered doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccines dropped 15.7 percent among children under age 2, and an alarming 60 percent among those aged 2 to 6 in the spring of last year, compared with the same period in previous years. Doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and the HPV vaccine experienced similar declines. The Missouri Immunization Coalition advises that if a child misses a shot, there is no need to start over. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way to catch up on immunizations.
However, vaccines are not just for children. Adults also need to keep up with their immunization schedule, and those who became parents and grandparents during the pandemic should make sure they receive the TDap to protect their new infants from whooping cough.