Health

Millions of Children Have Gone Unvaccinated Due to Pandemic: Report

Health Experts Warn of a Rise of Preventable Contagious Diseases

Millions of children have missed routine vaccinations this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The severe drop in immunizations threatens to leave communities throughout the U.S. at risk of losing protection against highly contagious diseases, according to new data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association [BCBSA].

As the pandemic prompted Americans to postpone or avoid receiving routine medical care, children are on track to miss an estimated nine million vaccination doses in 2020 that prevent diseases like the measles, whooping cough and polio, says the association.

That’s a decrease of about 26 percent in childhood vaccination doses compared to 2019.

Global public health officials are also warning of a sharp increase in the number of new measles infections and deaths, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], the World Health Organization and UNICEF saying that urgent action is needed to avert major measles and polio epidemics.

BCBSA says based on new vaccine data and medical claims there is clear evidence that the country is at risk of widespread outbreaks of preventable disease.

Adding that if current trends continue, the U.S. would fall dangerously below the vaccination levels for measles and whooping cough that the CDC says are needed to protect community health.

“The U.S. is on the precipice of a severe immunization crisis among children,” said Dr. Vincent Nelson, chief medical officer at BCBSA.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly interrupted adherence to vaccination schedules, and the possibility that preventable diseases, like polio, could become a threat to public health once again is particularly concerning.”

According to the new BCBSA data, 40 percent of parents and legal guardians say their children missed vaccinations due to the pandemic.

Most vaccination postponements occurred during two key time periods. The first was in March through May, when the pandemic was first taking hold.

Then, in August, the typical spike in back-to-school vaccinations largely failed to occur because of the pandemic’s impact and the shift to virtual schooling options in districts across the country, according to the BCBSA.

“These trends must be reversed,” Nelson said. “It is critical that parents and caretakers keep up with regular wellness visits and catch up on any previously missed vaccinations to keep children safe and ensure community protection against these highly contagious diseases.

“Family physicians, pediatricians and community health centers are well prepared and are taking measures to ensure their offices are safe,” Nelson said. “We urge parents to ensure all childhood vaccinations are up to date.”

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Yes, I would like to receive emails from Washington Informer Newspaper. Sign me up!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker