Child vaccinations plummet 63%, a new hurdle for NYC schools

From March 23 to May 9, the number of vaccine doses administered to New York City children dropped 63% year-over-year and 91% for children older than age 2 years, the city health department reports.

From March 23 to May 9, the number of vaccine doses administered to New York City children dropped 63% year-over-year and 91% for children older than age 2 years, the city health department reports. The city hopes to reopen its public schools and many day care sites in September, but under a recent change to state law, children attending public school will not be able to start school without being up-to-date on their immunizations. In a typical year, about 98% of the city's public school students are fully vaccinated. Pediatricians say they are more concerned about spikes in preventable diseases that can be much more dangerous for children than coronavirus. Last year, the city saw the dangers of low vaccination rates when spike in measles cases in orthodox Jewish neighborhoods prompted a public health response. Vaccination rates have fallen dramatically across the country because many practices have closed, and many parents are afraid to take healthy children to doctors' offices during the pandemic. In a survey conducted in April, PCC—a pediatric electronic health records company—found that vaccine doses had fallen 40%-73% for a range of preventable illnesses.