Measles, mumps, chicken pox and coronavirus, oh my! Nationwide, we’re finally getting back to school and back to in-person learning. Unfortunately, that also means a return to an increased spread of germs and, consequently, sick kids. Luckily, we have plenty of vaccines available that prevent common illnesses such as the flu, COVID-19 and other childhood illnesses.
THE RISK DECREASED VACCINATION RATES POSE FOR ILLNESS OUTBREAKS
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public sector vaccine ordering data shows a 14% drop in 2020-2021 compared to 2019, with the measles vaccine down by over 20%. A return to in-person learning paired with decreased vaccination rates could result in outbreaks throughout the country for a variety of vaccine preventable diseases.
“Childhood vaccination is one of the greatest public health achievements over the last century, helping to significantly disrupt—and in many cases, eliminate—preventable childhood illness and death,” says STChealth’s Chief Epidemiologist, Dr. Kyle Freese, PhD, MPH. “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to interruptions in routine childhood vaccinations, which can contribute to new outbreaks of these once controlled diseases. As school resumes, it is crucial that parents confirm that their children are up-to-date on their immunizations. This simple step can help keep our communities and families safe as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
NAVIGATING NECESSARY CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS
While navigating the world of childhood immunizations can feel like a minefield, it doesn’t have to be this way. MyIR Mobile is a free resource that enables users to access their immunization records anytime, anywhere. Not only does MyIR Mobile provide parents with their children’s immunization records and histories, but it also provides reminders for upcoming and past-due immunizations in addition to easy access to required records used for school admission.
STAYING ON SCHEDULE WITH IMMUNIZATION CALENDARS
In addition to using MyIR Mobile, following immunization schedules from the CDC is a great way to make sure your children are receiving their recommended vaccines at the appropriate ages and meeting school immunization requirements.
Here are a few of our favorite childhood vaccination resources from the CDC:
- Growing Up with Vaccines: What Should Parents Know? This hub of knowledge includes recommended schedules for routine childhood immunizations, as well as information on a variety of vaccine preventable illnesses that children are at an increased risk of catching.
- Immunization Schedules for Parents This parent-friendly resource includes immunization schedules from birth through age 18.
- Child & Adolescent Immunization Schedule This includes immunization schedules for children and adolescents, as well as immunization schedules for infants through each month of their lives. It also provides information about how to best catch-up on past due immunizations.