Health officials and pediatricians are concerned that some children could fall behind on vaccinations during the pandemic, even though funding is available to pay for vaccines for children who are uninsured or underinsured.
Public health experts are worried that parents may be reluctant to bring their children to the doctor, for fear of exposing their family to Covid-19, but not vaccinating children could lead to outbreaks of diseases like measles.
According to a Centers for Disease Ccontrol and Prevention report, health officials have seen a decrease in vaccine orders for childhood diseases since March. This concerns public health experts, including Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and Commissioner of Department of Health and Human Resource’s Bureau for Public Health.
“If children fall behind on vaccinations during the pandemic, we could face a second crisis with an outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease,” Slemp said.
The Vaccines for Children Program is a federally-funded program through the CDC that provides free vaccines. Families who qualify for Medicaid, are uninsured or underinsured, may apply for funding assistance to receive vaccines, which can help prevent up to 16 diseases.
For more information about the Vaccines for Children Program, parents can ask their child’s pediatrician, or contact the state’s Office of Epidemiology and Preventive Services hotline, 1-800-642-3634.