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Vaccinations during pandemic: What you need to know

Measles outbreak shines spotlight on vaccines
Posted at 2:06 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 15:06:04-04

With all the stay-at-home orders, changes and rules, it's hard to keep up with what you can and can't do.

But experts say one thing parents must keep up with are their child's vaccinations and check-ups, especially if they are younger than 24 months.

A study by the CDC found a significant nationwide drop in vaccinations for children during the past two months. To read the study and see all the charts, scroll down.

Here's one chart from the study, showing the drop in orders for doses of vaccine in the CDC's child vaccination program, which vaccinates approximately 50 percent of America's children:

The CDC found a bigger drop among children older than two, but still saw significant drops in all age groups, the study states.

That is concerning, given that the experts appear to agree that vaccinations of children up to 2 years of age are the most critical.

In Louisiana, the states chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics echoes the national academy's position that well child and immunization visits for children younger than 24 months are essential and necessary.

"The Louisiana AAP shares the concern of its members that postponing immunization visits could increase the risk of a communicable vaccine preventable disease in the midst of the response to this pandemic or trigger an outbreak until children and families are able to catch up their immunization status," the group writes.

The state chapter notes that all clinics are unique and acknowledge the fluid and changing nature of the situation, and is urging providers to determine what's best for their patients.

Bottom line: if your child is younger than 24 months, the regular visits and immunizations should continue on schedule. If your child is older than 24 months, check with your pediatrician. Caregivers for vulnerable adults also should check with their physician.

The Louisiana Department of Health has set up a webpage with resources for parents and caregivers who need information about this topic, and about vaccinations in general. You can access it here.

Here's the CDC study if you'd like to read it: