Washington Dept. of Health sees drop in child vaccination rates over March, April

Chart Doses For 0 18 Years Original
Credit: WADOH

CAMP MURRAY, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health said immunization rates among children appear to be dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving children and communities at risk.

Providers in Washington’s Childhood Vaccine Program reported they administered 30 percent fewer vaccines to 0-18 year-olds in March of this year compared to the same month in previous years.

Preliminary information from April shows a 42 percent decrease, but that number may change as April data continues to be reported.

Chart Doses For 0 24 Months Original

Additionally, the amount of vaccines ordered by providers in March also fell both in Washington state and nationwide.

“We are concerned that babies and kids aren’t getting all the vaccines they need to protect them,” said state health officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “Decreasing vaccinations increases the risk that we could see an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.”

Parents and guardians are encouraged to make appointments for any immunizations their child has missed. The health department said they are making clinics safe for families to visit amid the pandemic.

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