Doctors Advise Parents To Ensure Kids Get Routine Vaccines After COVID Break – Nationwide

Preventable diseases like measles, following trends seen elsewhere in the world, could spread rapidly in Canada due to a decline in routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pediatricians urging parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated, says pediatricians.

States and territories record data on community-provided vaccinations against infectious diseases such as measles, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough, and vaccines against other diseases administered in school immunization clinics. doing.

Much of the current data doesn’t cover 2019 and beyond, but states with more recent figures are already seeing dramatic declines in routine immunizations.

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Pediatricians say that while public health clinics are focusing on COVID-19 vaccines, preventable diseases will emerge if too many children are not vaccinated or not vaccinated at all. I am concerned about the possibility of The issue was further complicated by widespread school closures and vaccine misinformation that upset some parents who opposed vaccination efforts.

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Recent data from the Ontario Department of Public Health show that vaccination rates against liver infection hepatitis B among 12-year-olds will increase in the 2020-2021 school year, compared with 67% in the 2019 school year ending. plummeted to about 17%.

Vaccination coverage for the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) is even lower, plummeting to 0.8% last year compared to 58% in 2019. In the same period he decreased from 80% to about 17%, because it causes rare diseases. Potentially fatal disease risks include meningitis and infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord.

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Flu cases increase in Alberta

“The significant declines in coverage in 2019-20 and 2020-21 show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as our ability to deliver school-based immunization programs was limited,” said Public Health Ontario. said in a statement.

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For example, no data on uptake of vaccines intended to protect young children from measles have been available since 2019, and a report on figures after that is expected next spring.

Monica Knauss, M.D., medical director of the BC Centers for Disease Control’s Immunization Program and Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Service, said in-school vaccines starting in sixth grade have been delayed, but work is underway to return to pre-pandemic levels. said it is.

Younger children miss clinic appointments while doctors virtually see patients, and public clinics that administer routine vaccines to children primarily outside the Lower Mainland region of the state , was busy getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Naus said.

Click to play video: 'Pandemic reduces routine childhood immunizations'

Routine child vaccinations drop during pandemic

Dr. Sam Wong, medical director of the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics, said that disinformation and vaccine hesitation during the pandemic “combined with the failure of the public health system” to provide regular vaccines meant that certain populations could I said it meant I could be exposed to highly contagious vulnerabilities. A measles-like illness that is spread through coughing and sneezing.

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“If you enter a room an hour after someone has entered it, you could get infected,” he said.

“As a group of health care providers, we are concerned that low vaccination coverage will increase the likelihood of localized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps and chickenpox,” Wong said. said.

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COVID delays have reduced some routine pediatric vaccines in the last two years in Alberta

Wong said it was important for doctors and parents to talk about the importance of routine immunizations, which have been proven effective for decades, and some people He added that he believes that young children’s immune systems are not yet ready and that they should wait until they are older.

“But that’s why we want to vaccinate them, because their immune system can’t fight off the infection,” he said.

“Some parents don’t even want to discuss it with me.

A Canadian study found that vaccination rates declined during the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine pandemic, according to Public Health Canada.

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Quebec saw a 39% decrease in April 2020 compared to 2019, with the biggest impact seen in children aged 18 months.

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In Alberta, immunizations for these diseases in April 2020 decreased by 10% compared to the same month last year, according to the agency. Ontario’s coverage for her children under the age of two has fallen 1.7 percent, he added.

“Public Health Canada will continue to work with provinces and territories to understand the impact of the pandemic on routine immunization coverage across Canada and ensure the availability of high-quality data to inform immunization programmes. I will improve,” he said. in a statement.

Officials say they are currently in discussions with all jurisdictions on how to monitor vaccine coverage, similar to the surveillance system used for the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Nova Scotia Health, the latest reports on childhood vaccines were completed three years ago, and numbers have declined during the pandemic.

“Anecdotally, we know that childhood vaccinations have declined, but there are no concrete numbers available at this time,” the statement said.

But school immunization programs, primarily through clinics, are aimed at helping students catch up on vaccines they missed early in the pandemic, adding that getting appointments has been difficult for some families. rice field.

“We know a significant number of Nova Scotians do not have a family doctor. Often, some public health agencies offer clinics to this population.

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Last week, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement stating that by 2021, 40 million children will have missed the first and second doses of measles vaccine due to interruptions in immunization programs. announced that it was near. Pandemic.

The two groups said there will be an estimated 9 million measles cases and 128,000 associated deaths globally in 2021, with 22 countries experiencing major outbreaks.

Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, says a national registry that can quickly tell doctors which children have not been vaccinated is essential in Canada. said there is.

“I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall,” she said of her efforts to call for change.

“How can we make a good medical plan if we don’t have the data?”

Canada is an “outlier” behind most European countries on measles vaccines, she said, requiring 95% vaccination coverage to create so-called herd immunity against the highly contagious disease. I added that it is.

Canada recently received 84% of the second dose of measles vaccine. McDonald said Australia, by contrast, had him at 94%, based on the latest WHO data. She used her two countries as examples because the number of births in 2021 will be about the same as her 368,000 in Canada and her 300,000 in Australia.

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“We’re just not in the same league and we should be ashamed of ourselves.”

Doctors Advise Parents To Ensure Kids Get Routine Vaccines After COVID Break – Nationwide

Source link Doctors Advise Parents To Ensure Kids Get Routine Vaccines After COVID Break – Nationwide

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