There are many things that have taken a backseat since the pandemic started.
One of those is some parents not keeping up to date with their children’s vaccines.
“During those heavy months of pandemic time, the end of March, April and May, we had a significant decrease in the number of kids that were coming in for well child care and those preventative care visits,” says Sanford Pediatric Doctor, Stephanie Hanson.
Some families have expressed concerns of being exposed to COVID-19, but experts say it’s important to acknowledge a possible health care crisis that can come with not making sure kids stick to their vaccine schedule.
“It’s designed to be given on the time frame that it is to provide optimal protection for kids from infectious diseases, and I’m particularly worried about measles because that is a highly contagious disease and it does not take much for that to take hold and spread in the community,” Hanson says.
According to the Star Tribune, there has been a 70% drop in measles vaccines for Minnesota kids compared to this time last year.
“This is not the time you want your kids to come down with measles, this is not the time you want to have flu in the fall or the winter. It’s actually a stronger case for getting these vaccinations because we know that our healthcare systems are somewhat maxed out because of COVID and you want to make sure you keep yourself safe in other ways,” says Senator Amy Klobuchar.
In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, Klobuchar expressed her concerns and requested information about the steps the department is taking to address this issue.
“For me now, I think about getting it out locally, with your great healthcare systems that you have in the Fargo-Moorhead area and in western Minnesota. Getting the word out so people know they should go out and get their vaccinations is the best way we can do this,” Klobuchar adds.
A CDC report on May 15th shows a “notable decrease” for childhood vaccinations in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.