Provision of pediatric immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Reports have circulated that many children skipped routine immunizations in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, partly due to closed doctor offices or limited hours. For more insight, CDC's COVID-19 Emergency Response Team polled pediatric medical practices located across the country.

Reports have circulated that many children skipped routine immunizations in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, partly due to closed doctor offices or limited hours. For more insight, CDC's COVID-19 Emergency Response Team polled pediatric medical practices located across the country. The research, conducted in May of this year, specifically targeted doctor offices participating in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) initiative. Among the 1,933 practices that responded, 81.1% were both open and offering childhood immunization services to all of their patients at the time of the survey. Moreover, 59.1% of practices indicated that they probably could accommodate new patients in need of immunization services through August if they were called upon to do so. The poll responses suggest that children have an opportunity to catch up on routinely recommended vaccines that they missed in the midst of the pandemic. Health care providers can cultivate this trend by educating parents on the importance of returning for well-child and immunization visits. If they cannot provide those services themselves for any reason, they should refer the parents to a practice that can.