Back to Vaccines, Back to the Doctor campaign urges parents to keep their children’s vaccinations u
The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AL-AAP) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) want to encourage parents to keep children’s vaccinations up to date.
Over the past decade, ADPH has rigorously ensured that babies, children and adolescents aged 0-18 maintained competitive rates for age-appropriate vaccinations. Due to the national and statewide COVID-19 pandemic, many Alabama pediatric and family providers have experienced a drastic decrease in scheduled vaccination visits.
Infants, toddlers and teens across the state have experienced an over 50 percent decline in the number of vaccines administered from March 1 to May 1 compared to 2019 rates. This has disproportionately impacted immunization coverage rates among individuals ages 0-18 placing them at an increased risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases including pertussis, measles, mumps and others.
To avoid prolonged gaps in vaccination, ADPH and AL-AAP are encouraging parents/guardians to work with their providers to catch up on all childhood vaccines missed during the time of pandemic. While it is understood in this time of social distancing that many are concerned with leaving their homes, it is also important to remember that skipping vaccines and well visit checkups can put children at risk. Healthcare providers are committed to safeguarding parents and children’s health by maintaining a sanitized environment. Doctors’ offices are open and safe.
Keeping children vaccinated is an important step toward ensuring their long-term health. ADPH reminds parents to consult the catch-up immunization scheduler and check with their physician about getting back on track.