Routine childhood immunization rates dropped in Washington during the pandemic

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – A new report shows routine childhood immunization rates dropped in Washington during the pandemic. 

The Washington State Department of Health said rates fell by 13 percent in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic levels. The drop was most noticeable in young children, but rates in teens actually increased. 

  • Vaccinations decreased 9.6% in the 19-35-month age group
  • Vaccinations decreased 3.9% in the 4–6-year age group
  • Vaccinations decreased 3.6% in the 11–12-year age group
  • Vaccinations increased 1.8% in the 13–17-year age group

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone. Disruptions to schooling, childcare and in-person health care made it hard for some families to stay up to date on their shots,” said Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, Chief Science Officer. “We encourage parents and caregivers to schedule their well-child visits as soon as possible, to make sure their kids are happy, healthy, meeting developmental milestones, and ready for school.”

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