Maryland health officials are launching a campaign to encourage parents and guardians to get kids their routine vaccinations before school starts.
April 2020 saw a 46% decline in vaccinations for children between birth and age 18 over the previous year’s numbers, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office said in a statement Monday. That included a 71% drop in the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and 68% for the chicken pox vaccine.
“We are working with pediatricians and other health care providers to prioritize well-child visits, and our local health departments are standing up vaccination clinics to help safely welcome children back to school,” Deputy Secretary for Public Health Dr. Jinlene Chan said in the statement.
The “Don’t Wait, Vaccinate” campaign includes TV ads and digital media, in English and Spanish, reminding parents of the importance of vaccines.
Parents can see their kids’ vaccination records online and can check out Maryland’s back-to-school immunization requirements as well.
“COVID-19 did not make other vaccine-preventable illnesses go away,” Dr. Jocelyn Hines, president of the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians, said in the statement. “All vaccines are extensively tested for safety and efficacy before being approved or authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Please get your children vaccinated now before school begins.”