The Importance of Vaccinations
During the onset of the pandemic and shelter in place orders, childhood vaccinations rates declined this spring. Although orders have lifted, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health of America report shows childhood vaccinations remain down about 26% this fall, and that is troubling. This decline could place the health and safety of communities at risk for a second health crisis.
Childhood vaccinations protect communities against vaccine preventable diseases like measles, whopping cough and polio. If vaccination rates continue to decline, community protections such as herd immunity, could be lost and result in outbreaks of diseases that have been nearly eradicated for decades. Herd immunity occurs when a high percentage of the community is immune to a disease, making the spread of disease unlikely.
Many delayed or stopped preventive care during the pandemic, which has led to children missing vaccinations since they are administered during routine well child visits. In Mississippi, our data shows a reduction of 8-10% for TDaP, Polio and Measles vaccinations. Parents are encouraged to get children back on track for wellness and schedule any missed vaccinations sooner rather than later.
Your Blue Primary Care Network Provider has safety measures in place to protect you and your child, other patients and staff from COVID-19 including the use of PPE, frequent cleaning and disinfecting and COVID-19 screenings prior to visits. Wearing face coverings, following social distancing recommendations and practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene can also help keep you safe.
Members can always reference the Preventive Wellness Guide to see the recommended immunizations based on age and gender guidelines. Don’t delay, contact your Blue Primary Care Network Provider today to help keep children and the community safe.